Yoked for a Balanced Life
by Jan Powell
(I Thessalonians 1:9b, NIV)
Our culture instills the desire to crave great things for ourselves. We’re told to achieve and bask in recognition. But the Lord’s eternal values point in a different direction. I’m to serve as a lifestyle and put the Lord at my center, not my own achievements or awards. Each hour and day, he deserves my full commitment.
Called to turn and realign ourselves when in salvation, we walk with him at his pace to the destination he determines. A writing retreat enlightened me about Jesus’ invitation in Matthew 11 to take his yoke, which in Greek means his balance. In obedience, we resist the call of culture to mix good and bad things with losing goals. Following the call of faith instead leads me to say no to good things that consume time I need to commit to God’s better things.
Most of us fit writing in around family, friends, church, and work commitments. Like tightrope walkers, we cross the air above the net, tipping our balance pole left and right, focused on each careful step, and on the solid ground beyond. We progress by ordering our commitments within the boundaries his yoke provides.
The winds that wobble us whisper, “Seek instant gratification and success” or “Give up.” Books and podcasts entice us. Messages bombard us to dwell on preserving our looks, status, and financial well-being.
In contrast, connection to Jesus equips me to approach my computer grounded by the Word of God, which stills the gusts of insecurity, fear, and unworthy goals that would cast me down. He calms the inner and outer storms and uses those moments to add depth and understanding to my work. I compose a word at a time, write, and rewrite—and repeat.
When we weave eternal truth into our works, we honor the Lord. We propel ourselves into proclaiming him while fully caring for people and the planet. At times, others may applaud our rescue and repair organizations, our compelling stories, and our character without grasping why, but our yoked pace with God keeps us eternally balanced and going in his right direction.
Father of my life, steady and guide me to a balanced life that pleases you. Amen.
Jan Powell, a graduate of the University of South Florida has two small businesses. As a writer, she has worked with thirty people on forty book projects through Writing with You. Jan edits, coaches, and ghostwrites for fiction and non-fiction. She has been published in The Wordsmith Journal, Splickety, and regularly contributes to Inkspirations.