Julie and I eat ice cream every night together. It is a routine that my single-self would have never permitted. At about 21:00 we get ready for bed and then I pull out our blender to make some ice cream, blending 340 grams of frozen bananas, 25 grams of peanuts, and some instant coffee. After blending it all together, we divide it into some coffee mugs and eat it together on our balcony, looking out out at the apartment buildings and the lights on the Orthodox Church. In the corner of my eye I see Julie grin, which makes me feel I am doing something right. My single-self would have never let me do this because it is “unproductive.”
My brother used to tell me “girls will slow you down.” Truth be told, he was actually advising me to start dating. My brother knew I was living too fast, trying to stay productive all the time. And he also knew I was odious, being impatient with the smallest of annoyances. As my brother Paul often does, he corrected me and then started laughing at me, actually he started laughing at this funny-truth and then at my annoyed reaction.
I need help going the speed limit; I do not balance well. When I eat donuts, I will eat four. When I work on cars, I’ll buy nine. When I eat healthily, I eat vegetables alone. Fruit has sugar. When I study, I don’t sleep. When I exercise, I run marathons. When I marry, I marry Julie, who is much the same way. As Julie and I have been together, we talk and laugh about our unbalanced tendency. So here are my thoughts on balance and its relevance to Julie’s and my marriage. Is living an unbalanced life good?
My initial thought is that unbalanced productivity is good. By “unbalanced productivity,” I mean accomplishing as much as possible. Paul, the apostle, says “make the most of your time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16). So my thinking has been, and still is to some extent, I must do as many things as I can. Yes, Paul does not say anything about doing many things. To make the most use of our time can mean doing a few things but doing them well. And it seems that life is really only filled with but a few things. “Unbalanced productivity” can actually leave someone too busy for the “few things of life.” Being balanced is doing a few things well.
Relationships are the few things of life. This is what the Bible says as well as my emotions. In the Bible describes God creating man to have a relationship with him; this relationship is man’s greatest purpose. Also, God tells us the supreme virtue is love, the blood of a relationship. 1 Corinthians 13:13 says, “But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.” Not only does this make sense but this is how I feel. As I sit on the balcony with Julie, eating ice cream, her smile impresses me with the feeling that I am doing something right. Our relationship is more important than the things I could be doing. Let me end with this proverb which is now hanging above my desk. “Un nume bun este mai de dorit decît o bogăţie mare şi a fi iubit preţuieşte mai mult decît argintul şi aurul. Prov. 22:1,” which means, “A good name is more desirable than great wealth and being loved is to be cherished more than silver and gold.”