Some thoughts on a balanced lifestyle by John Ortberg’s The Life You’ve Always Wanted pp. 194ff:
… balance is not the Holy Grail. A balanced lifestyle is not an adequate goal to which to devote our lives. The problem with that goal is not that it is too difficult, but that it is too slight. Balance is not the most helpful paradigm for an ideal life.
The quest for balance can contribute to a tendency to compartmentalize our faith. Often a balanced lifestyle is pictured as a pie chart with life divided into seven or eight slices, one labeled “financial,” another “vocational,” and so on, with one slice reserved for “spiritual.” This paradigm encourages us to think of matters such as finances or work as “non-spiritual activities.” It blinds us to the fact that God is intensely interested in our every moment and activity.
… What does it mean to tell someone with a terminal disease or a street person or a single mother with a physically challenged child that she needs “more balance”?
Balance tends to carry with it the notion that we are trying to make our lives more manageable, more convenient, more pleasant. After all, we ultimately decide for ourselves what balance looks like.
Balance is a largely middle-class pursuit. It lacks the notion that my life is to be given to something bigger than myself. It lacks the call to sacrifice and self-denial- the wild, risky, costly, adventurous abandon of following Jesus.