The Art of Juggling
Monday, October 8, 2012 at 8:29AM
Barb Roberts


Wikipedia gives a great explanation of the art of juggling.  Juggling is a skill involving moving objects for entertainment or sport. The most recognizable form of juggling is 'toss juggling,' in which the juggler throws objects up to catch and toss up again. This may be one object or many at the same time with one or many hands. The term may also be used metaphorically, like multi- tasking, to mean constantly refocusing attention among responsibilities.  There is even a World Juggling Day - created as an annual recognition for the hobby. More than you ever wanted to know about the ‘sport’ of juggling, I know!


I’ve been thinking a lot about juggling lately, though perhaps in ways different than one might expect. Oh certainly there are the typical too many tasks...too many ministries...too many people to care for...too many funerals... But what I find I am juggling most is a plethora of emotions, and I am trying to juggle them wisely - in a way that is authentic and honoring to God, without dropping one into that emotional abyss called denial. That's the 'kicker!'  Sound familiar?


'Toss juggling' when it comes to dealing with these emotions sounds pretty intriguing to me; however I think I'd like to 'toss' with a twist!!  Throw all these emotions up in the air and just let them land where they will-- not necessarily catching them or controlling them or containing them ... just letting them be what they are.    If I (or you) did that, let all emotions just kind of hang out there, we could be accused of immaturity or irresponsiblity or even childishness, and we would certainly not be exercising self control. So unfortunately what so often happens in our attempts to avoid that extreme, we go to the other and stuff our emotions, unwilling to experience the pain of coming face to face with our hurt or anger or sadness or grief.  The process of stuffing those emotions can take on a life of its own and we no longer know what we are feeling or how to deal with whatever comes to us.


Think of all the balls you are juggling this very day. Work, spiritual life, family, friends, chores... What rises to the top of the pile?  And of equal importance - what causes that to be on top?  Perhaps you need to let some of your balls fall to the ground (or at least to the side) as you prioritize.  And as you think about prioritizing, take a look at what criteria  you use in the process?  Talking with a friend can help.  Reading a book on the subject of dealing with emotions or setting boundaries can be beneficial.   Journaling sometimes works.  Making sure you have ‘margin’ in your life is important.  However, perhaps over and above all these other methods, these words from Matthew 6 might help the most ---"Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.”  Go to God first; allow Him to direct your path and show you what is on His heart and what is His plan for you right now and next week and next month and in the future! We can do all things through Him who gives us strength – without Him we can do nothing!  Take your frustrations and grief and sadness and pain to Him – He is the burden-bearer!




Article originally appeared on Barb Roberts | Author, Helping Those Who Hurt | Speaker, Author, Counselor (
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