Being Off Balance

I woke up feeling off balance.  When I would close my eyes I felt as if I was leaning to the right.  When I would open my eyes I would find that I was still physically centered.  I felt fine otherwise and I have gotten very good at knowing when my physical body is not feeling fine!  Thus, I determined that this wasn’t a physical thing, even though I was experiencing physical effects.  I could tell that this was a spiritual thing.  I was feeling off balance.  I wasn’t centered.  I wasn’t worried medically, but I was intrigued spiritually.

I acknowledged this feeling to my wife, for no other reason than the fact that I share everything with her.  She naturally, based on our shared history, had medical concerns, but I quickly eased her mind in that area.  Again, I could tell this wasn’t medical, this was spiritual.  I just wasn’t centered.  The next step was to ponder what a poor boy is to do when the realities of the day are facing you down and you don’t feel centered?  My life had to go on.  I had to work.  I had to take care of my “To Do” list for the day, even though I was feeling off balance.  I decided to simply be off balance and allow what ever was needed to reveal itself in the midst of the process.  One of the consequences of that decision is this here blog post.  This is me being me in the midst of being off balance.

My prayer life is an ongoing conversation. I am not the kind of person that sets aside a specific time of day to pray or goes to a specific place to pray.  My prayer life looks more like an ongoing Face Time with God.  As I walk around in my day, the connection is open and I talk, I ask questions and I listen.  Sometimes the connection is simply open with no conversation , just a presence, as I go about my day.  I knew that whatever this was, God would lead me through some process of discovery to not only better understand my current situation, but also to enlighten me as to the solution.

So, off into my day I went. I showered and brushed my teeth.  I decided not to shave because, after all, I was feeling off balance so why not have a five o’clock shadow.  I sat down in our office, across our double desk from Michelle, who was on another one of her seemingly endless Zoom meetings with her teachers.  She had rearranged her computer monitors on our desk to try to improve her posture while working to avoid a sore back.  This created a barrier between her side of the desk and mine so that we could no longer see each other while we were working.  I opened my laptop and I started my routine.  I start each working day with reading my daily devotion, followed by a reading of the scripture for the following Sunday’s message.  I then check my emails, my “To Do” list and then, on this day, I started to do some research on the topic of Jubilee in the Old Testament.  I thought that this would be fertilizer for a blog post.

Later, I went to the kitchen to get a drink and my dog followed me hoping for some sort of treat.  He knew what he was doing because it was time for his mid-morning breath treat.  Little dogs get nasty breath as they get older because of poor dental hygiene.  Our vet had recently introduced us to a daily treat that helps.  My dog is smart enough to know that he hadn’t had his treat yet, so he gave me those eyes as I entered the kitchen.  I opened the pantry to get him his treat and I noticed that he was out of food.  That is when I remembered that Michelle had told me, the night before, that we had to get to the vet to pick up his food.  I looked at my phone to see that it was 10:30 and on this day our vet was going to close at noon.

When I called our vet a man answered who was obviously in over his head.  When I asked about picking up food, he confessed that they had fifteen cars in the parking lot and two people had called out sick.  Thus, he didn’t know if he could even get someone to take my order before they closed.  Now his over-his-headness had bled through the phone and this, already off balance guy who had no food for his dog, all of sudden found himself in over his head.  I literally asked him, in a not so kind way: “Are you telling me that my dog is out of luck for food today because you are too busy?”  I know, I know, not the nicest thing to say but give me a break, I was off balance!  Well, the question must have worked because he put me on hold and another lady picked up the phone asking me my dogs name and what kind of food I needed.

As I drove to the vet to pick up my dogs food, before they closed, I reflected on the phone call, the man who was in over his head and my feeling of being off balance.  As I thought, remember I am still on that all day Face Time with God, I noticed how blue the sky was.  I then noticed how majestic a heron was as he or she patiently awaited a fish to rise in a pond on the side of the road.  I then looked around and saw all of the other people in their cars driving around to do God-knows-what as they lived into their own “To Do” lists for the day.  I then started to think about this pandemic and how, just like me, many of these people have been isolating and practicing social distancing for the last two months.  It was then that I realized that I hadn’t felt off balance before this day, during this entire isolation period.  This caused me to be shocked because I asked, why not?  Wouldn’t it be perfectly natural to experience a sense of off balanceness in my spirit in a time such as this?

This is a very weird time.  As we slowly but surely creep back out of our homes into the great wide open, there are many feelings, many fears, many unknowns that are knocking on our spiritual and emotional doors.  What this trip to the vet, the blue skies, the majestic heron, the neighboring cars filled with others doing their best to live through a pandemic, combined with my ongoing Face Time with God, taught me was that I was okay.  Everything is okay.  Everything will be okay.  A peace came over me and I was able to actually hear the music that had been playing in my car this entire time without any recognition from me.  When I pulled up to my vet and called them to let them know that I was there to pick up my dog’s food, I again felt balanced.  I collected my food, called my dad on the way home and then wrote this here blog.  Everything is going to be alright!