Balancing Act –
There is an area in our yard next to the road that is tricky to mow. It is a sharp incline and in order to the get the job done the mower and the rider has to be at a steep angle. When I mow this particular spot in the yard I sit halfway on the seat with my body leaning in the opposite direction of the incline. The balance has to be perfect. Too far off the seat the mower doesn’t sense enough pressure on the seat and shuts off. Don’t lean far enough and there’s a chance the mower and rider could topple over. It’s a twenty-five yard long, difficult and dangerous, balancing act.
Life is also a balancing act. We live in perilous times. All one has to do is turn on the television, log online, and get the sense our families, communities, nations, and world is one mistake from toppling over into a dangerous place and we may not recover.
The problem is balance. Sides are chosen, political parties picked, litmus tests are given, judgments made and those on the other side, even ones seeking a middle way, are labeled as; “the enemy.” I don’t know if we are going to make it back from the edge of disaster but I do know it takes more strength to listen than to ignore, to understand than to shout down, to accept than to reject, to see others as us than ‘less than,’ to find balance than to demand conformity.
Our old Golden Retreiever, Belle, isn’t as young as she used to be. The picture above is from several years ago. Now, she’s nearly blind in both eyes, can’t hear, has more white on her face than gold and isn’t very steady on her feet.
This morning we went outside for an opportunity to do some “business” and she became distracted by treats she’s been finding on the ground since last weekend when the people from the church beside us had a cookout. The area the dogs visit in the morning is a shared space with the church and the attendees dropped goodies which Belle has been finding most of the week. As she sniffed around for another stale morsel her feet became tangled and she almost fell face first onto the ground. I rolled my eyes, smiled and told her; “Focus! You’re out here for one thing and you’re getting distracted by another. You can’t go in two directions without falling.”
As she ignored me and continued hunting for that last elusive goodie, I reflected on the truth of how easily we “lose our feet” because we’re not focused on what’s important and instead spend our lives searching for stale, spoiled, soiled things which will never satisfy.