I’m very skeptical when it comes to get-rich-quick-schemes, but a couple weeks ago, I fell for one.

Hard.

Okay, so it wasn’t your typical get-rich-quick-scheme. And in the end, it taught me a good lesson. But I did part with some money….

My sons and I were wandering around at our local fair, looking at the various booths and items for sale, checking out the animals, and trying not to melt in the Ozark humidity.

One booth in particular caught our attention.

Two high bars were suspended above the crowd, with quite a few people gathered around. A sign declared if you could hang from the bar for 100 seconds, you would win $100. (For the small price of a $10 entry-fee.)

As we watched, several people tried to win the $100. A few made it past the 50-second mark, but most let go of the bar well before that.

But I was excited.

Why?

Well, my son Kyle was with me, and I knew he could do this.

Let me pause a moment to tell you a bit about Kyle.

Kyle is 17, and is hands-down the most disciplined person I’ve ever met. He works out like a machine. It doesn’t matter if he gets off work at midnight—he still does his exercise routine before going to bed. (I want to be just like him when I grow up!) 🙂

And the hanging-from-the-bar-thing?

Well, I’ve timed him hanging from a bar. Not for 100 seconds, but 120.

Thus my excitement.

We’re gonna add an easy $100 to his college fund today!

I paid the $10, and Kyle grabbed the bar.

He did great; he really did. But he did not last the 100 seconds, and we did not add $100 to his college fund.

Why?

Not because he didn’t have the strength.

But because he didn’t have the balance.

You see, it wasn’t a regular bar. Instead of being fixed in place, it rotated. And after just a few seconds of hanging on a bar that rotates, your own weight begins to work against you.

The longer you hang, the more the bar rolls back, loosening your grip.

Even if you’re very strong, being off-balance eventually causes you to fall.

Yes, it’s a matter of strength, but it’s also a matter of balance.

In the end, I didn’t mind losing $10, because it’s such a wonderful illustration for our daily lives.

Many times we fall, not because we lack strength, but because we are off-balance. 

What do I mean by this?

Well, think back to the last time you became utterly exhausted, overwhelmed with your life, and unable to cope with your responsibilities.

Was it because you didn’t have the strength?

Or because you were off-balance, making unwise choices with your time and energy?

It’s SO easy to do—believe me, I’ve been there!

I’ve said “yes” to one (or sixteen) too many things, overextending myself.

I’ve stayed up too late scrolling through social media when I should have gone to bed.

I’ve gotten my priorities mixed up, focusing on the temporary, when I should have focused on the eternal.

I’ve stressed out instead of giving my problems to God.

As the unwise choices piled up, I lost my grip and fell off the bar.

Not for a lack of strength, but a lack of balance.

Perhaps today is a good day to take stock of your choices, and the way you use your time.

Don’t let poor choices knock you off balance.

“Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.” (Proverbs 4:26)

 

 

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