Bishop David Evans
April 24, 2009
Bishop David G. Evans became a baptist minister in the late seventies. Since then he has become a sort of religious super star by combining his spiritual calling with an acute understanding of the dynamics of leadership, entrepreneurship and media presence. His Bethany Baptist Church in Lindenwold, NJ has about 27.000 members and he counts more than a hundred churches as part of his international ministry. Today, Bishop Evans explores life as a balancing act.
One of the key words in my life is balance; the achievement, maturity, integrity and consistent need for a balanced approach to life. As a younger man in my twenties, my first real lesson was that balance is not what has been historically taught or should I say traditionally understood. Balance then was a picture of a straight line with all of my priorities evenly distributed along that line.
Then reality taught me life would not allow me to consistently and evenly address those priorities. Priorities are circumstantially sensitive. Real life is more like a juggling act. Several balls always in the air, all the balls at different levels but all under control. I've found a present crisis will cause a shift in my immediate priorities and as the crisis passes my original sense of balance returns. The problem in my twenties was my approach to life was not consistent.
Now, as I matured, I found the integrity of balance was achieved when the spiritual integrity of my life changed. I was making the classic mistake of a capitalist; thinking achievement, education and wealth were the hallmarks of a balanced life. The accomplishments did not necessarily provide the equilibrium I was searching for. I realized I was missing something. I had emotional, professional and social integrity but was lacking in consistent spiritual integrity.
Then I experienced a defining moment. It was one of those critical moments representing a milestone as well as a destiny impacting crossroads. I realized the need for God.
I had a friend as a child who was very overweight. My playmates and I, usually three or four of us, would climb onto one end of the seesaw at the playground. Of course, all of our feet were on the ground, no movement, no elevation as well as no fun. Then my friend would come and sit on the other end of the seesaw. The first thing we would experience was balance. He alone would balance the seesaw. The integrity, the purpose for the seesaw was suddenly apparent again. That's what happened when I began a relationship with God: balance and purpose became apparent. It was my own version of a parable.
The lack of balance and spiritual integrity were key elements in a lack of real purpose. I found, in really trying times, I needed to believe in something other than my own abilities and achievements. Both were on one side of the seesaw when God sat down. There was a feeling of elevation and movement I had not experienced. Achievement was prioritized, maturity accelerated and a standard of integrity that helped me manage previous restrictive and challenging situations became real for me.
I am now in my fifties. The transition from the challenges of the 60's and 70's to the needs of different more mindful approach to successfully navigate the social, economic and political challenges we are all facing.
For me, a balanced approach, with an acute awareness always mindful of the big picture, is essential.