The M2M blog is a collection of works from Christian outreach and leadership ministries we support and updates on Ministry to Ministries’ work. Here, we share a message of life balance and values from Breakfast with Fred Leadership Institute.
Fred and Mary Alice grew up in the depression. Their Christmases were very lean, particularly Mary Alice’s. As they raised their family, the idea of lavishing their children with luxurious gifts didn’t enter their minds. They wanted the children to appreciate a life that didn’t lead to extreme materialism. They wanted them to understand what a healthy life meant. Merry Christmas to you from M2M and BWF Project.
Viewing Our Values
The simple life is balanced. It is not necessarily devoid of tensions, but they are held in healthy tension. The wife of my good friend John Bullock used to say that she always wanted him to have two irritations at a time because, while having one drove him crazy, with two he could oscillate between them and keep his balance. She was a wise woman.
If our core values were manifested physically, we could see the grotesqueness of imbalance. Years ago I saw a man with elephantitis. It was hard not to notice his distorted features. I started thinking about the impact on people if we wore our value systems externally and others could see a tangible representation of who we are internally. What would a man given over to greed look like? How difficult would it be for others to look past the deformed extremity? How would your value system appear? What deformities would exist?
Great sculpture has to be balanced. Skilled artists can look at a mass of stone or clay, and see where the center of gravity is – where the balance exists. A mistake can result in destruction of that balance – and artistic disaster. Purpose is shown through the balanced life, just as the purpose of the artist’s material is displayed through his perfected work.
Remember the great story of the statue of David? When Michelangelo was asked how he carved such a splendid work out of the massive piece of marble, he replied, “Simple. I just cut away everything that wasn’t David.” A simple life has cut away everything that isn’t real to reveal true purpose. It is beautiful because it is in balance.
Think about: 1) How am I ensuring my life is in balance? 2) Where are my value distortions? 3) What is a good values focus for 2017?
Words of Wisdom: “If our core values were manifested physically, we could see the grotesqueness of imbalance.”
Wisdom from the Word: “Then he looked at wisdom and assessed its value; he established it and examined it closely.” (Job 28:27 NET Bible)