My thanks today to Fr. Leo English, C.Ss.R. whose words at mass today I am paraphrasing in this reflection.
Call to mind the image of a juggler. It may be one of those circus clowns whose face is painted or a busker on the sidewalk of a busy city street trying to earn a few coins. The importance of the image is in the juggling, the act of skillfully keeping all those balls in the air at one time. The juggler makes it look effortless, the juggler make’s it look fun. But for those of us who have tried we know that holding more then one ball in the air at a time is a skill that takes a lot of time and perseverance to develop.
Many of us feel like an untrained juggler as we look at the many demands of our busy lives. There are so many variables and things which we have responsibility for but which seem out of our control. You might be looking after elderly parents and trying to decide what kind of care is in their best interest and balancing that with what your mother or father are asking of you. You may have young children and a full time job and trying to find the balance that makes it all work out for everyone, your boss, your children and yourself.
As we begin to learn to juggle our first instinct is to watch the balls, one by one faster and faster we try to keep track of them. As the speed increase our tongues protrude from our lips in concentration. But before long the falling balls exceed our abilities and they scatter across the room. The trick to juggling is not to watch the balls but to center ourselves in the act of juggling itself. To become a juggler we must forget the balls and just focus on the movement of our bodies, when we find our rhythm as a juggler the balls will land and our hands will be there to catch them.
So it is with our lives. If we focus on the activities themselves we will be overwhelmed but if we find a healthy pattern for living it will begin to fall in place. In the letter to Timothy we read, “The mystery of our religion is great, He was revealed in flesh, vindicated in Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed amoung Gentiles, believed in throughout the world, taken up in Glory.” Christ is our centre, it is in living the Gospel of Christ that we will find our rhythm and our balance.
If today you feel like the events of your life are spiraling out of control take a step back. Stop watching the balls and instead focus on the centre, the one who gives meaning to it all.