The Purpose of this Juggling Life

Albert Alter juggling on a unicycling Skeeter Reece. Credit.

There’s more to life than can be juggled well—
Even if you leave all the unimportant balls in the bucket,
And focus your attention on the rest.

And while you’re wondering why that is,
I’m going to give you some more sad news:

You have not even got all the important balls
Identified yet, and some of them are still in the bucket—
Mixed in with the ones you think you can safely ignore.

So my point to you, friend, is that even if you
Just want to focus on the important things,
You had better get used dropping a ball
From time to time, because
It’s just going to happen;
It’s too much to manage.

And now let’s talk about why this is how it is.

So many get frustrated, as if something
Were terribly wrong that in this world,
It’s too hard to juggle the important things.

But I’m pretty sure that it is by design
That life is not easy here—
That we have to choose which balls to juggle,
And which ones to leave alone,
And which ones to get help with,
And which ones to grieve over because
We just can’t manage them.

And many will refuse to entertain
Such a novel view as this,
Yet neither would they suppose that God
Is surprised that we have these problems.
So they’ll pick what is to them
An easier answer to accept, such as that
It is all due to Satan—whom God is going
To deal with just any minute now, probably.

But having thought it through, I believe
It was his deliberate-if-surprising plan
To send us here to practice making choices.

And if we choose wisely,
We might just get somewhere!

If you’re not dropping some balls
From time to time,
It’s not because you’re a perfect juggler;
It’s because you’ve left too many of
The important ones in the bucket.

And if you are dropping the important balls
From time to time,
You’re in the right place.

And I’ll end with this, for those of you who are
The accused sort:

Pay attention to most of your critics,
And ask yourself why they have so much time—
Living in this same juggling world as you—
To focus on what you are doing wrong.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33. NIV

“We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,”

Acts 14:22. NIV

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

James 1:2-4. NIV

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