Aim for Balance
Key Verse to Read and treasure
I hated all my toil in which I toil under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 2:17, ESV)
One of the things my husband and I must be careful and mindful of is the number of hours we work within the week. I work from home and a great deal of his work is accomplished at home. Our workday can start early, before the sun comes up. All we need do is turn on our computers and phones and our work has begun. Virtual meetings and sessions for counseling, Word program for writing and sermons, phone for listening, texting, comforting, and praying with others. Someone always has an urgent need or emergency that was not planned or on the calendar. We could both very easily, without any effort, work seven days a week, all day and into the night. At a certain point we have to call it a day so we can be fresh for the next day, be refreshed so we can come back and enjoy what we do.
Solomon got to the point he hated life because every work he had created for himself, in addition to his duties as a ruler, were draining him of joy and life. He had become weary of every work he had to do. We can imagine how he started to hate hearing the cases brought before him, hated listening, hated governing and overseeing his kingdom, hated looking after the projects he had loaded his calendar with, hated the sun coming up indicating a new workday had begun. Solomon was suffering from burnout just like we can when we push ourselves too hard, burning the candle at both ends.
God has graciously assigned and given us all meaningful work to accomplish. Work which is not determined or limited by our age, gender, or whether we are retired or unemployed. From the very beginning God ordained and commanded us to be productive, fruitful, and to work. There is never any shortage of work for us to be about. Even those with disabilities, challenges, or limitations can locate good work and be productive. God has assigned us work but he has also provided balance. Too much leisure makes us lazy, spoiled, and self-indulgent, and too much work makes us dull, unhappy, stressed, miserable and questioning the meaning of life or existence.
The psalmist wrote that unless God builds the house—unless God assigns the work we work in vain, just like Solomon experienced. God will give us work but he will never assign us so much work we cannot also experience rest and refreshment.
Balance, at any and every age is important. If we don’t have the right kind of balance we could easily end up like Solomon, hating work and hating life itself.
Praying Ecclesiastes 2:17
Father, help me achieve that needed and longed for balance in my life. I know with bills to pay and costs of living to keep up with and necessities to stay on top of, it is tempting to overwork but the only true health comes when we are careful to maintain balance between work and rest. Amen
Take a look at your schedule and everything in your day and week, are you missing balance?