At one stage in my life, I wanted to be a circus performer.
When I was younger, my parents took my siblings and me to a visiting circus. We didn’t go out to outings like that much, it was a HUGE treat and was approached with much anticipation and enjoyed with much delight. I do, however, distinctly remember coming away from that outing feeling overwhelmed with melancholy and a sense that I wanted my life to be great (like the circus performers were to my 11-year-old mind) but if I couldn’t juggle or do acrobats, where was my hope of achieving greatness?
Suffice to say; that moment has passed. I no longer aspire to be a circus performer, but that lingering feeling of wanting to be a part of something larger and greater has been answered in a different, much better, way.
These days, I do juggle, it just looks a little less acrobatic. I juggle my life, in the way that so many other women and mothers do. On any given day I find myself contemplating what to pick up, choosing between what I have to pick up, what I want to pick up and what things I can learn to pick up at a later date.
My day looks like many other days for many other women the world over. I try to fit in the parenting tasks, homemaking jobs, teaching duties, church roles, friend time, fitness prioritising and that elusive ‘me’ time where I’d read a book or sit quietly and contemplate important things. Some days I do this well and end the day feeling accomplished and like my juggling act was applauded and the audience were perhaps astounded by my graceful juggling skills. Other days I feel as though I didn’t quite get the rhythm right and my juggle didn’t go off with quite so much aplomb (didn’t quite get those breakfast dishes done all day).
But regardless of how well I do or don’t juggle any of the jobs and tasks I think must be done that day, there is always one factor that for me changes my perspective on everything. Without this one thing, I am a bit grumpier, a bit less kind, a bit more selfish, a bit more inflexible and to be honest, just a bit unsatisfied with all that I have achieved that day. This one thing? It’s time spent with God and reading the Bible to learn what Jesus did and how he gives me grace in every moment.
The more I make that my priority, the more balanced everything becomes. The easier it is to see that every person I come into contact with that day is precious to God, just like me. It helps me extend grace and forgiveness because I remember again that I have been richly blessed with it. I remember that my husband and children are gifts from God and I want to pray for them and encourage them. As I spend time discovering, I start to see the world and my juggling act through a different lens, one that makes love a priority and not the task list I have in my head.
So, I’m a novice juggler. And today, I haven’t been so fixated on what I am juggling, how well I’m doing it or even who is watching. Because this morning I found time to sit with my Bible and read in the book of Hosea something that God did for his people:
‘I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love; I lifted the yoke from their neck and bent down to feed them’. (Hosea 11:4)
I found a few minutes to contemplate important things. If God did that for his people of old who continually turned away from him and favoured other gods over him, how much will he still love me that much today, despite my inadequacies? He is unchanging; He is love and I am so thankful that He is the rock upon which I can stand and juggle.