A Delicate Balance

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 (sometimes called “ear rocks”) 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 and it usually comes on suddenly. I’m recovering from the latest episode. 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 or sometimes minutes. It’s scary but mostly aggravating. Fortunately, I’ve had mine diagnosed at Vanderbilt Balance Center and 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.

It occurs to me whenever I have an episode 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’m in awe, once again, at the handiwork of God. Other times I think about “delicate balance” and how that applies to my spiritual life.

Several years ago I found a book entitled The Will of God that was first published in the 1940’s by a British pastor and author 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 this:

God’s will (His desire) can be broken down into three parts:

1. God’s Intentional Will- God’s Ideal plan for all.

2. God’s Circumstantial Will – God’s plan within certain circumstances even the evils that men create and practice.

3. God’s Ultimate Will – God’s final realization of His purposes and that is the return of Man to a relationship with the Creator.

When facing an upside down world, how do we see God’s providence in it all? Here’s where the delicate balance comes into play.

To find our true center in God’s will, we have to look at all parts of it. God intends and enjoys smiling upon 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 this 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. 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 upright. God’s peace comes to us when the particles of chaos come to rest in this…His ultimate will, their proper place…like crystals in an inner ear.

Ephesians 1:4-6 says from The Message:  “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.”


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