I sat in the midst of other corps members in the NYSC camp in Paiko, Niger state. Rabbi stood at the centre of the gathering, dishing out his points in a debate. At first many were distracted but with time everyone got interested. Guess what got everyone’s attention? It was a cliché that became a tag for Rabbi, my colleague:
You need to strike the balance!!!
Too many times within my 5 years in school, I was caught between two or more of the following: attending fellowship service, watching an Arsenal game, attending lectures, chatting with friends, health needs, financial needs or just loafing around. The ability to prioritise one of these activities at the given time was very important. Often times, especially in my early school years, I skipped fellowship for a live football game but I can’t remember skipping lectures for fellowship or a football game. Although lectures were usually rounded up by 4pm, the clash was minimal. With maturity, I began to ask myself some key questions:
- Why are you here?
- Which is more important?
- Which will forever be missed?
- What happens if you miss this event?
- Which will provide you with another opportunity?
- What is the bigger picture?
- What are your values?
- Can you have it all?
Be moderate in order to taste the joys of life in abundance. – Epicurus
As a student of a higher institution, you most likely will be affected and shaped by some or all of the following: Lectures & Academics, Hostel Life, God & Fellowship, Health, Finance and Social Life. How you manage them will determine how balance you will live your life.
I’ve learned that you can’t have everything and do everything at the same time. – Oprah Winfrey
It was not my first time living away from home. I saw it like an extension to the boarding school I attended. I understood that it was a different scope but I had to start from somewhere. In my first two weeks, I was occupied with registration and accreditation – from the department to the various sections of the student affairs unit. Hostel movement, survey of lecture venues, assessment of bukkas and eateries were top on my agenda. I had identified the fellowship I was to join but it wasn’t until my third/fourth week that I joined.
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven – Ecclesiastes 3:1
There is a particular drama that was always played in front of the new students in the fellowship I attended in school. The drama showcases three types of student:
- The unbalanced one – All church activity, no academic activity.
- The wayward one – No church activity, no academic activity.
- The balanced one – A balance of church activity and academic activity.
These three characters had their unique ends measured in terms of their results. The unbalanced fellow had D’s and E’s. The wayward nigga had E’s and F’s. The balanced man had A’s and B’s.
Are you so heavenly minded that you are no earthy good? Are you so earthly minded that you are no heavenly good? If so, then your spiritual life is out of balance. As a Christian, you need to be mindful of extremism. It is frequently the root cause of false doctrine and division. You need to strike the balance.
Do not be excessively righteous and do not be overly wise. Why should you ruin yourself? – Ecclesiastes 7:16
Who says you can’t be a child of God and be the SUG president? Who said you can’t be in school and do business? Who said you can’t be a pastor and finish as the best in your department? Who said you can’t support Arsenal and win souls for Christ? You Can. Unless you can’t manage it and it makes you imbalanced. Search yourself, seek help and make the right decisions. Don’t be carried away
You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. – II Peter 3:17
If you can manage your life in school and live a balanced life in that period, you most likely will not have issues maintaining a good work-life balance outside school. Rabbi was not wrong that day; you have to find a way to strike the balance.
Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance and order and rhythm and harmony. – Thomas Merton