One of the simple pleasures in life for me was to complete Highlights for Children magazine’s Hidden Pictures puzzle. These days, however, I’m not looking for a wooden spoon, a toothbrush, or a pencil in the puzzle of life. Instead, I’m searching for understanding, for peace, and for balance.
Balance in life continues to puzzle me. Take our 168-hour week, for example, then deduct about six hours a night for sleep and it leaves 126 hours. Nearly half of that, 60 hours, is devoted to my career, which I enjoy and appreciate. That leaves about the same amount of time for family, then finally about six hours a week for faith. That seems rather unbalanced to me. Do you find yourself in a similar position?
I tell myself that there is meaning and purpose in work, in supporting my family, paying the mortgage, the bills, putting food on the table, and clothes on our backs. I also tell myself that perhaps the work is part of God’s plan for me. It certainly is way, way better than being out of work, as so many are these days.
Yet with so much time dedicated to career, I feel like I’ve become something of a slave to money and society’s expectations—not like the Israelites in Egypt, but limited in the freedom to pursue faith-based activities.
A Bible.org article (https://bible.org/article/your-work-matters-god) suggests that I may be making a false distinction between God and the secular. The article says, “It’s an improper way to view life as divided between the sacred and the secular. ALL of life relates to God and is sacred, whether we’re making a business presentation or changing soiled diapers or leading someone to faith in Christ. It’s unwise to think there are sacred things we do and there are secular things we do. It all depends on what’s going on in our hearts.”
The article quotes Ephesians 6:5-8: “Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free.”
I may always wrestle with the faith-family-work balance issue, but if work is a gift to us from God, then the puzzle pieces of my life begin to fit better. And that helps me refocus and begin to see my life’s “hidden picture,” which now looks less like an 8 ½ x 11-inch rectangular page in a magazine, and more like that of a face—the face of Jesus!