Sunday, April 13, 2008

Balancing Act

Last year our church hosted a Family Night with performer Bob Cates. His "Comedy in Motion" won him a nominee for Entertainer of the year in the Canadian Event Industry Awards for two consecutive years. The entire evening was filled with high energy and laughter. He closed his performance with the frantic plate spinning routine, reminiscent of the Ed Sulllivan Show. This is his signature piece and, if I recall correctly, I believe he keeps 30 plates spinning on the ends of very tall poles, without one of them crashing to the floor.

Do you ever feel like your life is rushing full speed ahead and you're trying to juggle too many plates? And, just when you think you've mastered the art, coordinated every schedule, run as fast as you can, someone tosses you another plate and yells, "Juggle"!

Someone right now wants to toss me another plate. Oh, it's a pretty plate. A plate that would bring recognition, but also responsibility. I'm looking the other way. Not feeling like I can add anything more into my life just now. Overwhelmed by the tasks at hand and so afraid that one more plate will disturb the routine and many spinning plates will come crashing to the ground. Just one miss and more than one person will be affected as everything is precisely planned and each detail meticulously calculated.

So, the question arises - should I replace an existing 'plate' with this new opportunity? Tough call when my life is really complete right now. Living in my 'sweet spot'. God has been giving me the desires of my heart and I feel I'm currently responding in the center of His will for me. He's opening doors I never dreamed would open. He's fulfilling dreams. Stretching my dependency on Him. Turning fear into faith. Opening my heart to a deeper level of understanding and intimacy with Him. Would one more plate upset the delicate balance of trust? Would one more plate not only stretch me too thin, but cause other plates to come crashing down as well? Desiring to give my best to the Master. Would one more 'plate' drain me and keep me from giving my all?

How do you respond to each new ministry request? Would appreciate any direction and guidance you can share. Seeking Him and praying for discernment.

"I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord...."
Only wanting His best for me.


Marilyn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marilyn said...

My Dear Canadian Friend,
I do feel for you having to make such a big decision about the "plates"! You have given us quite the word picture here. I can just see all those plates spinning and spinning and spinning! I have no advice except to keep seeking the Lord's face in this matter. Don't swap plates if you don't get a peace about it. For sure don't do it just because you feel it's expected of you! I just recently read that BUSY stands for B-ound, U-nder, S-atan's, Y-oke. I know we all want to stay busy for the Lord but on the other hand we have to be so careful not to just be "BUSY"! I have been there and done that. So busy doing the things I think a Christian should be doing that I leave no place for my own time with the Lord. But on the other hand, this could be just the opportunity for you to be "about the Lord's business". Only you and the Lord will ultimately know the answer. But I will pray for you.
Thanks for the hand of Christian fellowship you have offered me!
God bless you.
Marilyn in MS

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I listen for that still small voice that often speaks to me through my gut! If there is no peace...then I remain still. When I don't know what to do...I do nothing until I have clarity. You'll know, my friend. You'll know. Trust God's voice within.

PS: Thanks for all your wonderful posts this weekend. They've kept me going in my silence!

Yolanda said...

This sounds easy and pretty "redundant", but I truly have found it to be true in my life. Wait on God.

If this is what He truly wants of you, for you; then He will bring forth confirmation through others that are not PRESSURING, through His Word, through Songs, through devotions, etc.

If you are receiving pressure from man, then it probably isn't Him.


nothingcanseparateme said...

I love Marilyn's acronym--BUSY (Bound, Under, Satans, Yoke)

I find that a lot of my "spinning plates" come from church and serving him--which would always seem like I should say yes to. Someone once said to me that if Satan can't get you from the outside, he will come at you from the true.

I followed your comment from Renee Swopes blog. I am continually amazed and encouraged by how many women face the same challenges.
Kim from PA

grey like snuffie said...

I remember those busy days of a full life. I seem to be in a quiet season for now but I do remember. I always tried to find someone older in Christ to share with and seek counsel. Just because it's good doesn't make it right. But there are times to swap as you said. Our lives always seemed to evolve as our kids grew and new opportunities came along. Praying you will have peace in your spirit to hear His voice---however He choses to speak to you.

Mary said...

I love your blog and the way you write. What a great analogy to use for being busy - the "spinning plates."

I agree with some of the other comments - to seek God's will. I remember being in Bible Study Fellowship and talking with one of the leaders that had so many responsibilities.
I asked her how she managed all of them. She said to me, "God equips for what He calls."

If God is leading, the plates will keep spinning . . but if not, you will become very tired and discouraged.


Mary said...

Oh, I almost forgot! Thanks for visiting my blog. . that's how I found YOU and I am blessed!


Bonita said...

I loved the word picture of what adding one more plate might do. I'd heard the spinning plate analogy before, but never really thought about all the possible outcomes of adding even one more plate to the picture.

I agree with the others that peace is the umpire in decision making. Another thing I've started doing lately is really asking the Lord what my focus should be for this season of my life. Once I have that solidified it's easier to determine if something fits with the big picture or not. For example, if I know that my focus needs to be on raising my kids and something comes along that will make it more difficult to focus on them then I know that is a plate I don't need to tackle.

By the way, I stopped by via a comment on my friend Charlene's blog and noticed that we have a lot of common interests and a few common friends as well. I take it that you're going to She Speaks. I'm not attending this year, but may offer to help with publishing appointments- not sure yet. You will love it!