A Delicate Balance

by Nan Corbitt Allen

We all have rocks in our heads. Really.

Deep inside our heads, in our inner ears, we have tubes (or canals) and in those tubes there are tiny calcium crystals that communicate with our brains – telling us that we are upright, lying down, falling down, upside down, or whatever. But if one of those little crystals gets out of its designated place, it can turn our worlds upside down. Literally.

Benign positional vertigo is something that I’ve had off and on for the last few years. I’m just recovering from my latest episode. It usually comes on suddenly. Even though I know that I’m standing straight, my brain is interpreting my body position as something else. The room seems to spin, my eyes actually following the path of a spinning room, and I’m not able to find my “center” for a few seconds. Sometimes minutes.

It’s scary, but mostly aggravating. Fortunately, I’ve been diagnosed at a university balance center and have been taught some exercises or maneuvers that can fix it fairly quickly. It’ll probably return, but at least I know what’s at work and what to do about it.

Whenever I have an episode, it amazes me how a tiny speck in my inner ear can throw my entire body off. Sometimes, after an attack, I’ll marvel at the intricacies of human anatomy. And I wonder, once again, at the handiwork of God. Other times it reminds me of how important it is to keep a “delicate balance” in my spiritual life.

Several years ago, I found a book entitled The Will of God that was first published in the 1940’s by the British pastor Leslie D. Weatherhead. It’s a tiny book, less than 60 pages, but its content has been so intriguing that I keep it handy and read through it often. The premise is that God’s will can be broken down into three parts:

  1. God’s Intentional Will- God’s ideal plan for all.
  1. God’s Circumstantial Will – God’s plan within certain circumstances, even the evils that men create and practice.
  1. God’s Ultimate Will – God’s final realization of His purposes: the return of Man to a relationship with his Creator.

When facing an upside down world, it can be difficult to see God’s providence in it all. That’s when the delicate balance comes into play.

To find our true center in God’s will, we have to look at all facets of it. God enjoys blessing us and even sometimes alters the natural course of life just because He loves us and wants to see us healthy and happy. I like that part.

In circumstances (of course always within His control), His will may be still hard at work, i.e. in the midst of a heartbreak that was caused by an accident, an act of evil concocted by Man, or the frailty of human flesh. It can be harder to perceive Him there. I’m not so fond of this part.

But His ultimate desire is where we have to sometimes land and just trust that one day He’s going to make it all stand aright again. God’s peace comes to us when the particles of chaos come to rest in His ultimate will, their proper place…like crystals in an inner ear.

Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.                                                                                                                     Ephesians 1:4-6 MSG

A Delicate Balance – insight from Nan Corbitt Allen on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

Nan Corbitt AllenAbout the author: Nan Corbitt Allen has written over 100 published dramatic musicals, sketchbooks, and collections in collaboration with Dennis Allen, her husband of 40 years. A three-time Dove Award winner, Nan’s lyrics and dramas have been performed around the world. Dennis and Nan have sold almost 3 million choral books.

Nan and Dennis live in Cleveland, GA where she teaches English and Creative Writing at Truett McConnell University. They have two grown sons and two beautiful grandchildren.

Nan’s book, Small Potatoes @ the Piggly Wiggly, is a collection of devotionals that reveal the seemingly insignificant routine experiences can have great impact on a life. She describes what she learned of God’s providence and wisdom while growing up in the Deep South in the 1950’s and 60’s.

Join the conversation: Has there been a time when your world was turned upside-down? Please share!