I remember back when I had infants. There were so may happy and fun days! Those days usually came on the same days when I was exhausted and emotionally spent. But maybe that’s just me?
I loved it when they were finally ready to start solid foods! I giggled, making airplane noises as I spoon fed them! And I remember wiping their little chins as mushy baby food from the jar slid down just about everywhere except into their mouths! Thank goodness for baby bibs!
One of my babies was a very picky eater. When babies first start on solid foods, they typically eat fruits. But not this girl, she only wanted veggies! It was so unusual. And not just any vegetables, she ate only three different ones: carrots, sweet potatoes and squash. These three foods had one thing in common, they are all orange in color.
At first this was fine by me; I was thrilled that she was eating solids from a spoon. But over time, I became aware of an unhealthy balance. She turned orange, just like her foods. I wish I was kidding. All my kids are fair, blonde-haired, blue-eyed children. But as she continued to consume only orange foods, she turned Oopma Loompa orange! Her blonde hair had an orange/reddish tint to it. Her skin looked slightly orangey and tanned. And the topper was the end of her cute little nose looked as though she had mushy squash sitting right on it! One time in the grocery store, a stranger stopped me to tell me that my baby had food on her nose! Sigh.
At that point I had to wean her off her favorite foods and onto more balanced choices. She fought me, of course. She wanted her favorites, her choices. She wasn’t able to understand that what she loved and ate exclusively wasn’t good for her. I had to keep forcing her to eat what I knew was best for her. It was a battle for a while, but in time, she leveled out and her skin and hair color returned to normal. Whew!
I often wonder about the choices we make as Christians. Are we spending too much of our time, consuming things are innately good for us, but at a level that is actually harmful?
You and I have choices every single day as to how we use our time. And I think mostly, we make good choices. We spend time caring for ourselves and our families. We entertain others. We have coffee dates with our girlfriends. We serve at church. We scroll faith-based sites on Instagram. We keep up with our friends via Facebook and other social media sites. We relax in the evenings and enjoy our favorite shows.
But are we out of balance?
To much of a good thing is not a good thing. I know you have heard that phrase before. It’s a pretty accurate and deep statement actually. Just like my daughter eating her veggies. Veggies are good for us, no one would dispute that. But too many veggies and suddenly your nose is orange, and you are out of balance!
1 Corinthians 10:23 says this, “You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial.” How we choose to use our time is completely up to us. But are we over doing it in any areas?
All the options that I listed above are good ways to use our time. They are certainly not harmful things. But if we are unaware that we’ve become unbalanced in the use of our time, then those options have become less than good for us. They may not be beneficial.
Caring for ourselves and our families is good, until it is done in excess. Are we obsessing about our image, or the image of our children? Hosting or entertaining is showing hospitality and is good, until it’s done in excess, leaving us physically drained and emotionally exhausted. Are we enjoying a healthy catch-up coffee date with our BFF, or are we consistently avoiding other responsibilities? Are we serving at church from a right heart, or are we using it as an opportunity to be seen? And so on and so on. Anything done in excess has the potential to do harm. Anything.
Romans 12:2 reminds us “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
I’m right there with you sister. I wrestle constantly with using my time correctly. And, in reality, I’ll never get everything “right” in this life. But I do want Him to transform me and change the way I think. I want His plan to be my purpose. I want Him to direct my thinking right into line with His thinking so that I can better understand His will for me. How I use my time has a lot to say about those priorities. I may not always get it right, but I want to make that my goal.
I encourage you to take a good look at what might be unbalanced in your life. Are you willing? Are you brave? When you and I seek to honor God with our lives, He gets excited. He has plans for us that we don’t even know about yet! He wants to show us those plans, but until we are willing to let Him use our time His way, He waits. He loves us immeasurably and has our best interest always at the center of His plan. So, if we ask Him to reveal to us our mis-apportioned priorities, He will. Honestly, the first thing or two that come to mind when you ask Him to show you, are the areas where He has something different and better in mind for you. The truth is you probably already know what they are.
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” God’s plans for us could never be bad for us. He is a holy and loving God. We just get scared to lose control.
There are so many good things we can (and should) participate in and prioritize in this life. But as we do them, we should strive for balance, and yearn for His leading.
All I’m saying is, don’t let your nose turn orange.
Lord, Help me to use the precious gift of time in the best way that I can. Help me to be aware of when “my nose is turning orange” and I am out of balance. Show me where I need to readjust my responsibilities to stay healthy and in the ceneter of your plan for my life. Amen.