BUT, let’s be honest, living a completely balanced life is an unrealistic ideal. There are multitudes of circumstances, systems, relationships, temptations, natural forces, and physical malfunctions all interacting with grinding frictions against my worthy plans. Reality? I have to live with an unbalanced life. I have to live in the midst of unwellness. I have to live, as a friend put it, “With a case of the normals!” Tough, friction-producing obstacles forcing me into tough choices, changes and challenges are really just part of normal life.
I am learning to understand that wellness is not the absence of illness, problems, or difficult times; rather, wellness is being in relationship with a graceful, loving God who understands that I don’t understand everything in life. One of the most graceful things that a church can do is to surround me with graceful, caring, relational faith friends who listen, encourage and affirm. My health or a relationship or my finances may not go as I planned. When the unpleasant normals ruin my well planned life in balance, I have people.
One of the best of God’s plans was to give us people, relational faith people. We call it the church, a group of people, each with a gift or two, but none of us completed enough to do life alone. Think about it. God gifts us, but as one young person explained to me, “That means God shorts us on all kinds of stuff.” It is as if God shorts us so that we must rely on each other. I think it may be God’s joke on us! Truth? I need others who have what I don’t. Life is meant to be lived with people, the body of Christ, the church, others on whom I can lean. Equipping people with relational faith friends, such as Peer Ministry Leaders, is a great way to prepare us for each other’s unplanned unbalances in life.
Wellness? Balance? These ideals end up skewed, out of line, described as, “A case of the normals.” Relational faith friends, my grace friends, remind me who I am and whose I am. To my grace friends, I have to say, (here comes the sappy movie line from Jerry Maguire…) “You complete me!”