Growing up I was always fascinated by Balancing Bird toys. Those little plastic birds seem to defy gravity and balance on the tip of your finger (or nose) despite your every effort to make them wobble and fall off.
I wish finding balance in life was quite so simple and effortless. I’ve had the chance to do some extra work recently and my wife and I decided I should do it. Our plan is to use the extra money to build up our savings a bit. The problem is that I’ve working a lot, probably too much.
Given that it’s a temporary thing, I’m not too worried. But it’s caused me to really think about how to balance everything in my life – family, work, church responsibilities, and everything else that’s going on in life. I’m obligated to provide for my family, but at what point does “providing for my family” become “seeking after riches”? If all of our current temporal needs are met, does anything above that mean that I’m working too much? If my goal is to save for a rainy day, is there a limit to how much “rain insurance” I really need?
I don’t think there’s a hard and fast answer to these questions. There are times in our lives when we simply need to work more and there are times when we need to cut back and focus on other aspects of our lives. My rule of thumb is that if my own spirituality seems to be suffering or if I’m not there when my family needs me to be, then I’m working too much. My balance is a bit more precarious than that of a Balancing Bird and I do tend to wobble now and then, but I’m grateful for the influence of the Holy Ghost that warns me when I’m leaning too far to one side or the other.