Balancing Act

James 1:9-11

9 Let the believer who is lowly boast in being raised up, 10 and the rich in being brought low, because the rich will disappear like a flower in the field. 11 For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the field; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. It is the same way with the rich; in the midst of a busy life, they will wither away.”  NRSV

One way to understand this passage is to think of the child’s playground toy, a teeter-tooter. Two kids sitting opposite of each other on a board with a fulcrum point in the center between them. When onr rises the other falls because the fulcrum is always trying to achieve a balance between the two.

God is the fulcrum in this example. Bringing the lowly up to the plain of equilibrium (or equality) and bringing the rich low to the plain of equilbrium until a balance (or equality) is achieved is the desire of God. You see, God’s realm is always moving towards balance. The two sides of mathmetical equations must balance. A bird sitting on wire, must find its balance. Our automobiles are equipped with springs and other elements in its suspension system to achieve balance over all four tires. We balance the temperature of the oven with the baking time and the ingredients of the dough to make the perfect loaf.

Yet, we live as if people (rich and poor in James’ example) are not bound by the same universal need for balance God instilled in every other part of creation. This insatiable desire for imbalance, for tipping the scales in our favor at their expense is a root cause of suffering in our world.

Little did we know how theologically profound we were when bouncing up and down and spinning round on the teeter-tooter all those years ago.

Be a blessing to someone today!

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