The Balancing Act Called Life

This season in the life of CARE for AIDS has been one of the most rewarding and exciting for the ministry, but one of the most demanding on my time and, as a result, the most unbalanced in my personal life. After spending two weeks in Kenya, three days at Catalyst, and three and a half weeks with Cornel and Duncan, it was obvious that time for myself, my health, my wife, my friends, and most importantly, my heavenly father, had been sacrificed in the name of “ministry.” It is in these seasons that I am reminded of Andy Stanley’s talk at the Leadership Summit where he said, “cheat the church (or ministry), but don’t cheat your family.”

While I don’t feel like I am experiencing burnout right now, it can really sneak up on you. It is sometimes hard to recognize when you love your work so much or feel a strong calling towards it. Unfortunately, the mission field is littered with incredible men and women who did too much too fast without proper balance and just burnt out. Or worse yet, the ministry survived, and their marriage or family fell apart. For everybody, but especially those of you in full-time vocational ministry, our work is too important for us to be careless with our spiritual health, physical health, financial health, or relational health. We need to be at the top of our game; eternities depend on it.

All this to say, I am on my way out of town for a couple weeks to relax, spend time with family, read, and plan for the future of CARE for AIDS. Let’s all finish the year strong and start the New Year refreshed and refocused. To do that, I encourage all of you before the end of the year to do a candid evaluation of your spiritual, physical, familial, relational, and financial health and create a plan for 2012.

So, you ask, “How do I do that?” Mark Miller said in his book, The Secret, that, “Leadership always begins with picture of the future.” In this case, I would say that change begins with a picture of the future. So, let’s start with30 years from now. I’d like for you to answer the question, “What do I want to be true of my life in 30 years?” I took about 5 hours one day to answer this question, and I created a final vision which was about one-page single-spaced. If you can create a vision for your future like this, it will revolutionize the way you prioritize, make decisions, and plan for the more immediate future. And don’t worry… it’s not carved in stone. In future posts, I’ll explore more ideas and next steps in creating a more specific actionable plan. It is something that I have enjoyed doing and has added tremendous value to my life.

Be relentless in doing what you have to do to regain balance in all areas of your life. It is too important to put off.

More resources:

Becoming a Coaching Leader (book by Daniel Harkavy, Founder and CEO of Building Champions)

Creating Your Personal Life Plan (E-book by Michael Hyatt adapted from the Building Champions curriculum)