Reflection on Acts 10:44-48,     John 15:9-17, 1 John 5:1-6

Sermon "Finding Balance" 
   At times, life can seem like a juggling acts.  Just when you think you have a rhythm, life throws in another ball.  There have been moments when I feel like those Chinese plate spinners running from one plate to another trying to make sure none of them fall.  The stress we place on ourselves can at times bring us to the breaking point.
   Finding a balance between our emotional life, our physical life, and our mental life can be difficult.  There were days after spending long hours in a cubicle or programming a computer system that physical labor relieved the built up stress.  There are other times that we need to stop what we are doing and be emotionally present to those around us.  Without a firm center, the war between our heads, our hands, and our hearts can feel like juggling too many balls with too few hands.
   There is a fourth aspect of our lives that we neglect but can provide balance to all the areas of our lives: our soul.  When our soul is centered upon God, we find that it reorients our entire life.  For that deep centeredness we find a well of love that opens our eyes to times when we need to be emotionally present and times when we need to stop and think.  That love calls us to action as well as cautiously restrains us.  
   When we love as Jesus loves us (not 'loved' because Jesus is still alive and loving us right now), we are given the gift of discernment from the Holy Spirit.  This anointing of the Spirit that Peter found at the home of a Gentile is given by God to us so that we might live life abundantly and not fragmented and broken by stress.  The Holy Spirit shows us what balls we need to juggle and which ones are stumbling blocks to love.  Finding a balance between work and family, community and privacy, activity and waiting can be found by being grounding in one's soul.  It is from our spiritual relationship with God that we find peace in our worldly relationships.
   The world will always demand our attention and, like a spoiled child, will always want us to make it our number one priority.  If we are not grounded, we will lose that battle and find ourselves unbalanced and chasing after the world.  When we find our balance in our living relationship with God, than we will be victorious over the world's many petty demands.  By faith, we find that God's love is greater than the world and the Holy Spirit is wiser than any human guru or self-help coach.  With our soul's centered in love, balance is restored to our heads, our hands, and our hearts.