Purposely UNbalanced

Life is much like riding a bike. When I ride, I’m rarely perfectly balanced. In fact, as I go through fast turns, I purposely lean my bike so as not to be in balance.This is especially true on my mountain bike, as I blast down rolling hills and around banked switchbacks. It takes skills and a lot of trust in myself and my bike to intentionally lean the bike into unbalanced positions to maneuver through the obstacles and turns on the trails.

Because life has lots of obstacles and turns, I find “balance” to be a tricky thing. It’s popular to say we should live a balanced life. So I did a quick Bible search and guess what? I couldn’t find anything about living a balanced life, not in those words, at least. Instead, the Bible often tells us to live a focused life–to focus on the right priorities: “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life” (Proverbs 4:23). “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33).

Life is about knowing when to lean left, right, forward, and back … sometimes in rapid succession as I navigate the trail in front of me. This morning I need to lean into my wife, later today I’ll lean into my kids. In between, I need to lean forward and pedal hard up the hill at work. Later I’ll lean back and navigate the rocky downhill with a friend in crisis. The trail determines the move. 

The important thing is to stay on the right trail! How? God will make known to me the path of life; He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. His word is a light to my path (Psalm 16:11; 23:3; 119:105). I start my day here, in my relationship with God, so that He can guide me on the right path.

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Michael C. Mack founded SmallGroups.com in 1995 and served as a small-groups minister for more than 20 years in several churches. He is a writer, editor, trainer, and consultant in the areas of small groups, leadership, and discipleship. He is the author of more than 25 books and small group studies, including his latest, World's Greatest Small Group (pub. January, 2017). He regularly blogs on his ministry website at SmallGroupLeadership.com. His family is a small group that includes his wife Heidi, their four children, and their dog, Lainey. Mike is also an avid mountain biker.