What’s Up with Pastor Todd 7-30-21

Sample “balance wheel”

What’s Up with Pastor Todd 7-30-21

When it came to grades, my youngest daughter had challenges with focus. Her report card would show straight A’s in math, language arts, and social studies, for example, and then a low B in science and Spanish. At parent-teacher conferences we would agree to focus more on science and Spanish. Next report card she would have straight A’s in Spanish and science, but her grades in the other areas would drop. It became clear that it wasn’t a matter of ability, but how to maintain a balanced focus. Olivia was struggling with something many of us find challenging even into adulthood: how to know what to focus on, how much to focus on it, and when to focus on it. Olivia had no difficulty focussing on one thing–especially if she really enjoyed it. My guess is this is true for many of us. Balanced focus was much more difficult. I find that it is a lifelong project. Hence, the “balance wheel.”

The “balance wheel” or “wheel of life” is a simple tool for taking a snapshot of the “balance” in one’s life. See example on above. The wheel is divided into eight categories. They can be any areas of significance in your life. The concentric circles represent “level of satisfaction.” Take, for example, the category “business/career.” “1” represents the lowest satisfaction, i.e. “I need to quit now.” “10” represents highest satisfaction, i.e. “I can’t believe they pay me to do this!” Place an X on the 1-10 scale in each category. Then connect the dots. You can see in this example that the “wheel” for this fictitious person is almost a square. The balance wheel helps one identify areas that may be out of balance and then identify strategies for making the wheel more “round.” The idea is that a round wheel will roll more smoothly and swiftly than a lumpy, out-of-balance one.

Recently I was reminded of the “balance wheel” exercise. It made me wonder if it could be adapted for organizational use. I created an example (below). I took the six Granby UCC working groups and added “worship” and “faith formation” as separate areas to make eight. How do you see our “balance” right now? The balance wheel encourages us to dream. Imagine a “10” in Program, i.e. “I can’t believe our church does all this amazing stuff!” What would it take to get us there? Likewise a “10” in Getting-to-Know-You (clearly we’re almost there, maybe 9.5) or Worship or History? Sometimes in the mess of life we can get in the habit of “just bumping along.” Remember: those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength and find their balance.

Author: toddyonkman

I am a husband, father, author, and Designated Term Transitional Pastor of First Church of Christ in Saybrook (CT).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: