The cider press is painful to the apple, but joyful for the juice. Maintaining a work life balance works the same way. You seek a quality work life yet find it often puts the squeeze on you as you attempt to maintain your family and career.
Cider is the liquid essence of all that is good and sweet in an apple. In the same way, you are put through the cider press of life which is always a painful experience while you are undergoing the pressure of the press. However, it is joyful to be on the other side of the press, a transformed soul for the Lord. Take care that you do not spoil and lose your sweetness, but if you do, then even vinegar has its work to do in the purification of God’s people.
What is your joy today? Is it the joy of working? Or parenting? Or studying? The greatest joy and therefore the greatest challenge in life is blessing others. It’s counter intuitive. We naturally think of ourselves, our needs, our wants and our desires. Ayn Rand called this the “virtue of selfishness,” but Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Self-centered thinking is easy since all you have to do is focus on the person you love most – yourself. It’s not easy to turn that thinking around to bless others.
In my younger years, I focused almost entirely on myself. As I matured, I learned that it was good to love others and to bless them with my gifts. Today, I seek to bless others through my smile where once I never smiled, a kind word where once I was silent, or a friendly hug where once I kept to myself.
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