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Connecting faith to life: Finding the proper imbalance in your life

Every day on my way to work, I pass by a group of ducks huddled on the ice near a small patch of open water.

This time of year, open patches of water are in limited supply, so it’s no surprise to see the ducks there. I know they need to stay close to the open water in order to survive the winter.

It’s because of this reality that whenever I drive by these ducks, I can’t help but think about how we, too, are created to stay close to the source and strength of our lives.

There has been a lot of talk in recent years about finding/maintaining/living a balanced life. These discussions take several forms, but they are popular because we all seem to want to achieve this rather elusive goal.

These discussions also seem to be related to the question of whether or not we can really have it all (my impression is no, at least not all at once).

Personally, I have tried to achieve this myself, but I am beginning to think that a completely balanced life is a myth. After all, there will always be things I have to do simply because that is what needs to be done.

Sometimes, doing what needs to be done trumps what I want to do, and sometimes, despite my best-laid plans, it just isn’t possible to make it to the gym or get the sleep I need.

To me, that is life. So maybe the question isn’t so much about finding the right balance but finding the proper imbalance instead.

It’s with this in mind that I start to think about the ducks; because the ducks are my picture of what it looks like to stay centered.

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Kari van Wakeren is a pastor at First Lutheran Church in Alexandria. She can be reached at and blogs at