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Art Daily Walk Wisdom

‘Balance’

Photo by Christophe Hautier on Unsplash

There is no such thing as ‘balance’ in the Kingdom of God, because God, ultimately, is not ‘balanced’: he is all things at all times.

That sentence may seem, at first, to be highly objectionable, or perhaps a bit oblique, so let’s break it down and examine all the pieces.

What is ‘balance’?

Balance happens when, as on a physical scale, there are equal quantities of one thing or concept on either side. (That is how we perceive balance.)

Balance is a very human concept. Of course, this is a very good thing, because balance helps maintain order, and without order, there is unrestrained chaos. The only problem is, true balance is unsustainable.

Why?

Because God is very interested in keeping the Body of Christ (and ultimately human society in general) pointed in the right direction!

Too much balance leads to stagnation.

What breeds in stagnant pools?*

—-

Balance seems fair to us.

By ‘fair’, I mean, balance is how, basically, you know you’re not being cheated.

Take the visual image of an ancient market, or a modern-day exotic Eastern market, for example.

When you buy something in a market, say spices, for example, the merchant takes a weight, puts it on one side of the scale, and then puts a certain quantity of the spice on the other side.

This is how the purchaser knows that the price the merchant is charging, is a fair price.

God is not necessarily ‘fair’, according to human reckoning, all of the time.

—-

Balance is beautiful to us.

Take gymnasts, for example. They can do flips, and tumble, and spin, and fly through the air, doing amazing things, because they have an incredibly-well-developed sense of balance.

Balance is also important in the art world. A well-balanced painting is pleasing to the eye. (Look up ‘artistic balance’ on Google for some nice images and technical explanations of this.)

Pottery-making is another good example of balance being important for beauty. An aesthetically-pleasing, and functional, piece is balanced, in most places, on the left and right.

—-

What happens when something is *imbalanced*?

—-

Lack of balance can be bad.

—-

Lack of balance is dangerous to human life.

Take vertigo, for example. One of the most important concerns in nursing homes and hospitals is fall risk.

Senior citizens are especially susceptible to falling. Why? Their sense of balance is off, due to a problem in the vestibular system found inside the inner ear. This system is responsible for the lack of balance. Senior citizens can fall and injure themselves, or, worse, die, because they cannot balance themselves properly.

—-

Lack of balance can cause untold-of death and destruction, on an immense scale.

When the world political system is not well-balanced, war happens.

What happened in World War II? The balance of power was dangerously shifted, and one of the worst examples of human tragedy and loss occurred, all over the planet.

When nature is not balanced, hurricanes occur.

Hurricanes happen when temperatures are imbalanced.

—-

Lack of balance can be good, in a sense.

—-

Lack of balance is entertaining:

Take Charlie Chaplin, or just about any famous comedic actor, for example: slapstick humor. “Balance (or the lack thereof) also reveals one of the fundamental elements of all slapstick. Slapstick is one off-balance disaster after another.” – (quote from ‘Discovering the Clown, or The Funny Book of Good Acting’, by Christopher Bayes

—-

Lack of balance is also beautiful.

Revisiting pottery for a moment, a fundamentally interesting piece of pottery includes elements that lack balance.

In speaking of the beauty of an 18th-century moon jar (a piece of Korean pottery), Lee Ufan, a famous minimalist painter and sculptor artist, said this:

“The imbalanced imperfection
is what allows you to see things in
an unlimited and real-life way.”

(Lee Ufan, as quoted in the book ‘The Artist Project: What Artists See When They Look At Art’, by Christopher Noey and Thomas P. Campbell)

—-

Lack of balance, ultimately, makes us happy.

The key to bliss is a life that is *profoundly* imbalanced.

All terror, all fear, all joy, and all happiness ultimately emanates from the throne of God.

*Note that I said ‘stagnant’ here, not ‘placid’ or ‘still’. Search: “still waters scripture” for more details.

Categories
Daily Walk

A Stab in the Dark

In order to learn to effectively deal with stress, recovering perfectionists (like yours truly) must learn to get to the point where saying, ‘I don’t know,’ is not a point of crisis.

When you feel stress extending across your shoulders, neck, and back, this may be one of the problems. My habit has been to panic, internally, when I reach a point where I don’t know what to do.

I have had to learn to rely on Spirit, to point out what to do, or to trust my instincts.

The writer of the Book of Acts says it this way: “It seemed good to us…”

What does THAT mean?

In our rigid, 21st-century mental boxes, we have asked God to rigidly conform to our rules: “Now, God, this is either your will, or it is not. Please tell us which.”

(And sometimes, that is necessary, at first.)

I have found, however, that sometimes it is like throwing Jell-O at a target, and seeing what sticks.

It’s not that I don’t hear clearly. I’ve been basically forced, over a number of years, to learn Spirit’s voice clearly, for my own sanity, and, ultimately, to learn how to help others.

(I don’t like the word ‘forced’ here; it’s an unpleasant word, but it is a fairly accurate way of describing my experience.)

I am finding that, many, many times, that there is more than one ‘best answer’.

I was taught, either explicitly or by inference, that, ‘God has only ONE RIGHT SOLUTION for every equation.’

This is not mathematics.

Unfortunately, sometimes you reach three or four solutions that seem right inside. And, as you cannot know the future, and are not guaranteed tomorrow, or even the next five minutes, then you do not know how it will work out.

What do you do at this point?

Take a ‘stab in the dark’, and then trust God for the outcome.

“What if I make the wrong choice?”

What if you do? What will happen?

God will work it out.

It is quite likely that it will seem to work out badly, and seem to not work, at the beginning, but will pan out later.

You may have to ask others for help: “I tried this, and it doesn’t appear to be working. Can you help me?”

Or, it could work out much, much better than you hoped.

Most likely, it will be some ultimately-holy, ultimately-beautiful combination of the above.

If you need to make a decision right now, and it can’t wait, and nobody around you knows what to do, but you have at least one idea of what to do, then just pick something, stick with that decision, follow through on your commitments, and trust God that He will work it out.

Maybe it will turn out to be a mess. Perhaps it will blow up in your face! Maybe you’ll need others to help clean up the mess. But, in the end, if THAT happens, then you will have learned what works, and what doesn’t.

In the end: rest, and trust. Make your decision, and know that God’s got your back.

Categories
Daily Walk

Play The Cards You’re Given

Photo by Jack Hamilton on Unsplash
Photo by Jack Hamilton on Unsplash

“My life is a mess right now. What do I do?”

“Play the cards you’re given. A lot of people have been dealt a bad hand during this time. Just do the best you can.”

“But my best is not good enough!”

“Who said?”

“…….I did.”

“Just do the best you can. Know that I’m not going to put you in a high-stakes game when you’re not ready. I’ve got your back.”

Categories
Christianity Daily Walk Grace Presence

The Palace

‘We live in a house made of thoughts’, I wrote down, thinking it profound.

Then I had an experience that made me discard all that nonsense.

I used to think that my thoughts were me. No more!

Thoughts of worry, fear, doubt, all of that nonsense, it’s just noise. Like the buzzing of bees or a dinner party I can’t wait to leave.

I retreat into a quiet room inside myself and shut the door.

I look around. Papa, Jesus, and Holy Spirit are there. Nothing else that I could see at that moment.

What else is there?

As I look, I discover a palace inside. The noisy room that I thought was inside me, is instead outside.

I begin to explore the palace. The chandeliers especially fascinate me—I’ve always liked chandeliers.

It reminds me of a dream I had once: a hidden warehouse I found behind a garbage dumpster. Racks and shelves full of ‘hidden treasure’ to be discovered.

Now I know that the garbage has been dealt with, and that this palace has been made from those materials.

No one else can go here. This is my mansion, my retreat, my paradise within.

How did I find this palace?

Presence.

I learned to abide in Christ.

I learned about the mind of Christ, how he thinks.

The mind of Christ is a calm, sound, well-balanced mind full of peace and joy.

When thoughts buzz around my head, when bad dreams bother me, I remember: those thoughts, those memories, those are not me.

The real me rejoices inside. The Trinity rejoices in me. The peace is inside. I forget about the noise and abide in Christ.

I wish I could lead you to your own internal palace. Maybe I will spend the rest of my life helping lead others to theirs.

Categories
Daily Walk

Trust The Process, Enjoy The Walk

Trust the process.

I know most ‘grace people’ don’t like the word ‘process’, but what else do you call it, when you are learning things daily, and you have to walk through it over time?

Every day, you get to learn more about:

how God is good…

how God has the best intentions for you, and his best intentions are better than you can imagine…

how God is absolutely trustworthy, and…

how God is absolute love. Always.

The Christian ‘walk’ is just like…a walk. Walks take time. You have your own personal ‘road to Emmaus’ to walk with the Holy Spirit.

Enjoy the walk. Trust the process.