Monday, 26 July 2010

Four burner theory? What's your center?

Recently, Chris Guillebeau at "The Art of Non-Conformity" posted his thoughts about Four Burner Theory, which he in turn read about in a quote from a David Sedaris article.  The quote read:

One burner represents your family, one is your friends, the third is your health, and the fourth is your work.”
The gist is that in order to be successful you have to cut off one of your burners. And in order to be really successful you have to cut off two.
Chris had thought about this idea a lot, and he said the following:

These ideas always strike some people as offensive, as if we should be grateful for bad jobs and unhappy lives. Maybe things will magically get better! Meanwhile, other people are somehow able to embrace change and pursue lives of meaningful adventure. (We tend to focus on the second group over here.)
But then again, perhaps the four burners theory is another way of looking at the same concept. I’d like to be healthy, and I’d like to have good relationships with my family and close friends, while also being successful at my work. I don’t like the idea of choosing or cutting off one of the burners.
Well!  Within a couple days, Chris got over 200 responses, and counting.  He posted a selection of the responses today in a new posting, here.  I found the comments really interesting.  The thing is, most people want all four burners.  But they also seem to think that, realistically, you probably can't have them all, or at least you can't have them all at once.

I am thinking that if you don't have an overarching center or core in your life, it really does become a loosely connected set of "burners" - one or two of which will inevitably take on a kind of "core" status, to the detriment or even total loss of other burners.  We are created, I believe, to have a center - our relationship with God - and when we don't have that center, we naturally reach out to whatever seems to give us "passion" and "success."

Why not take a look at the comments folks posted?  I think they are really revealing of the way the world views life ... and I think they also have relevance to us as believers, in relation to realizing the great privilege we have to live loved in our Father's purposes for us.

What do you think?

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