Untitled by Petra Österreich via Pixabay. CC0 Public Domain

Untitled by Petra Österreich via Pixabay. CC0 Public Domain

By Allison Gingras

While interviewing Fr. John Bartunek about prayer practices and the responsibilities of every day life, he said, “We never stop seeking balance in our life. You do not achieve a level of equilibrium and are good to go. No, it is more akin to walking a balance beam which requires constant adjustments to remain on it.”

As a former gymnast, this analogy resonated with me. It brought me back to a vivid (and slightly embarrassing) memory of the epic back handspring attempt of 1981. My “5 foot nothing” coach stood alongside the balance beam perhaps a little overly confident in my abilities. With abandon, I threw my body back and halfway through the flip knew I was in trouble. My hands found their target but the rest of me decided to exit – stage left. I landed right on top of my poor, unsuspecting coach. It was clearly memorable because she recalled every detail when I bumped into her at the grocery store OVER 20 years later!

Although a skill I had mastered on the ground and low beam, the new altitude called for new adjustments. When I failed to make them; I fell. This is equally true in my faith walk. I have mastered many of the skills that keep me close and in spiritual balance with Christ including morning prayer, scripture reading, weekly adoration, Sunday Mass, and monthly confession. Yet, throw me a curve such as oversleeping, a sick kid, an unusually over-scheduled day – or all of the above; and I am quickly off kilter.

Fr. Bartunek’s insights into the spiritual life balancing act was very comforting. Knowing that even when I believe I’ve mastered the practice of my faith; there is always room for improvement and grace for that occasional fall.

About the Author:

Allison BBM Profile PicAllison Gingras is founder of  Reconciled To You and host of A Seeking Heart on Breadbox Media weekdays at 10 a.m. ET. Allison blogs, writes and speaks about living an every-day life of faith. She created the “Words With” daily devotional app series, Words with Jesus, and offers presentations on forgiveness, trust, and lessons from the Blessed Mother.