Everyone has some sort of structure in place that helps them navigate through life, whether you're the down-to-the-details planner like I am or more of a "its all in my head" kinda person. And what keeps your structure steady is a good balance of everything. But every now and again, something throws me off balance.
If I think of all the times I have struggled emotionally, spiritually, physically, mentally etc. it is usually when things are out of whack. Those are the times when I am the least motivated and productive; when it is harder than it normally is to get out of bed, when I get upset easily, when I know what I need to do but really couldn't be bothered to do it...
"Be sober [well-balanced and self-disciplined], be alert and cautious at all times. That enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion [fiercely hungry], seeking someone to devour". I Peter 5:8 (AMP)
This version of scripture does an awesome job of giving more context to what "sober" here refers to. You just can't have a well-balanced life without discipline. Life is always going to happen, things are constantly going to compete for your time, energy and resources and it is up to you to maintain the structure you have in place no matter what tries to devour you.
Now if you're from the lovely tropical part of the world that I'm from, you probably read "devour" and thought of some supernatural expression of the word like being swallowed up by some half hippo-half cat-looking animal or being attacked by a familiar face levitating in the air. I guess that is an interpretation of the word, but it is not the only one.
If you think of other words for "devour" like overwhelm, consume, trouble..., you'll realize that if you have been successfully consumed and overwhelmed by other things and have stopped chasing after your dreams and goals or caring about the things that are truly important to you, you don't need someone dressed as a flocked Christmas tree in the middle of the forest to chant your name.
If things have been out of whack for you as they have been for me, no need to beat yourself up about it. Just...
1. Spot the difference
Identify what tampered with your structure if you can, so you know what it'll look like next time around.
2. Fix the cracks
Put your life back in order.
3. Stay alert
It won't always be something major that'll try to mess with your structure, but if you stay alert, you'll be able to spot it early, and it won't stand a chance!