By: Ken Schmidtke

Ingredients To The Balanced Life

I admit it, I am a foodie.

I love food…

I mean GOOD food.

My wife and I are addicted to the Food Network; learning techniques to create meals that are not just getting food on the table but creating dining experiences that bring pleasure to eating.  There is a term that I have learned through my habit – umami – a Japanese word defined as a “pleasant savory taste.  Its effect is to balance taste and round out the overall flavor of a dish.”  I can’t say that I have ever had a dish defined as umami!  But I have eaten meals that I find succulent and delicious.  It is the balance of the right ingredients that creates the palatable effect.  Without balance, a rich chocolate cake can become a sunken mess, a steak can become as tasteless as leather or a simple combination of eggs, cheese, vegetables and spices can become a superb omelet or frittata!  It’s all in the balance!

In the same way, balance in our lives can create wholeness, stamina and effectiveness; or conversely it can develop discord, aimlessness and frustration.  It’s “umami” in our lives and ministry; a pleasant savory taste that others enjoy as well as ourselves.

The ingredients to a balanced life: spiritual, emotional, social and physical.  It is the inclusion of the right combination of these ingredients that can result in a life that is tasteful to others.  Ministry can be a challenge to balance; creating time for self and family, recreation, spiritual nourishment, relational interaction, mental development.  I often find myself running ragged just trying to create balance.  Yet, I know that as I work the attributes of balance in my life that wholeness and effectiveness can result.  I may have struggles in finding perfect balance, but along the way I am discovering joy; and some pretty “delicious and tasty” consequences.

Over the next few weeks we will be exploring more deeply the ingredients to the balanced life.

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