A Life of Extremes

BALANCE-SCALE-3Do you ever feel like your life swings wildly from one extreme to another? And it doesn’t slow down enough for you to enjoy the in-between times? I’ve often felt that way. I do right now.

With all the states and countries I’ve lived in, some spots have been drop-dead gorgeous. But for some reason, my next address is often an aesthetically-challenged one, but one in which life seems to be more fun. I’ve enjoyed seasons in the uglier locales filled with oodles of friends and adventure, while in the prettier places, I’ve endured wasteland years trying to force connections to happen.

And then there’s ministry. Sometimes, all cylinders are clicking. I’m motivated and I see tangible results that God is using me. But then I’ve had years of sowing seeds, not seeing anything sprout, and wondering if it even matters.

And it causes me to wonder: Why is life so polarized, moving from one extreme – whatever that may be – to the other? Can we never have both? I guess it’s all about that elusive concept. Balance.

WomanCoffee_72dpi-300x198Take my present job. I don’t ever seem to have “normal” days. As I described this, a friend of mine gave me a term that summarizes it perfectly. It’s like I’m a cop on a stakeout. Most days, I feel like dozing off, chugging coffee (and trying hard to pass up the always-present doughnuts). Anything to make myself stay alert so I can listen for the phone to ring or watch for someone to come in to the office.

But every once in a while, my adrenaline has to kick in. The waiting part of the stakeout has ended and now I have to chase down the robber. My cat-like reflexes have sprung into action. I get to do the thing I’ve been trained to do. And that’s exhilarating.

I guess it’s part of life to go through the stakeout to get to the chase. Maybe your stakeout years are all about changing diapers or carpooling kids. Those years are necessary to get to the end result – to gently nudge your young adult out of the nest and watch them soar.

38710_2b2a1f8df4de8e13817f8c4022c89c43_735fbd3b7ead59d3f2369723ce2707f8I’m in the adrenaline rush season now with printing deadlines for three graduation programs looming. The list of graduates changes hourly. My phone doesn’t stop ringing. I’ve typed so fast, I swear I see smoke coming out of my computer. It can be a bit stressful, but I’ll take the action part of the stakeout any day.

I just wish, sometime, someday, my pendulum would stop its erratic swinging and settle into something in the middle. Not the go-insane-kind-of-busy extreme. And certainly not the boring extreme. Just something in between. Something more … balanced.

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