I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had exerted, and behold all was vanity. ECCLESIASTES 2:11
There are seasons in life when our work requires more of us than it does at other times. Tax season for the accountant. Christmas season for the retailer. Whatever your line of work, it likely has a natural rhythm that spikes at certain times.
But increasingly in our success-driven culture, busy seasons have run together into all seasons. We have allowed the pace to perpetuate itself, driving us at full throttle month after month, year after year. Things begin to come totally unraveled at home, in our marriage, in our relationship with our children. It can happen, seemingly, in a blink.
This reminds me of a commencement address attributed to Brian Dyson, who held several senior management positions with Coca-Cola during his long career. He told a class of Georgia Tech graduates, "Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling five balls in the air: work, family, health, friends and spirit. You're keeping all of these in the air.
"You soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls are made of glass. If you drop one of these, it will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged, or even shattered. It will never be the same."
You may not get as many pats on the back for being at home to dry the dishes or settle a disagreement or help a child study for a test. You may not receive the same sense of affirmation you feel from accomplishing a work goal or achieving recognition among your peers. But you will be living proof that winning at home first is the key to winning anything of value.
Marriages and families don't bounce. They shatter. For generations.
What is your "busy season"? What are the first signs that work is getting out of balance? How can you help each other handle those seasons that demand more of you than usual?
Pray for the ability to juggle well . . . and to know which balls can drop without causing major damage.