How fast? Sorry, sir. My speedometer must be broken.
Does your odometer really know how far you’ve gone? Does your speedometer really know how fast you got there? There’s no gnome leaning over your bumper, laying down measuring tape as you race from home to work on Monday morning, trying to make up for that one final 9-minute snooze. Your car has no idea how far your job is from home. It calculates distance based on how many times per second a pin rotates or a sensor signals. The calculation can be thrown off by bigger or smaller tires or by grit on the pin. We are made of even more sensitive tech, and occasionally we need to recalibrate our thoughts and behavior, so that we line up with who we really are and who God is.
The company where I work has core values: Put Customers First, Be the Best, Make Things Easier, and Succeed Together. Those values are established on a large scale, but they must be integrated into the actions of our departments, teams, employees, all the way down to our individual moments with our clients. Every so often, we do Recalibrations, comparing what is really going on to our core values. This way, we can make sure our behavior aligns with who we intend to be as a company.
If cars and companies must recalibrate, then it should bring us no shame to do the same in our own lives. I hope you’re blessed with loving, direct friends who will let you know when you’re getting off track. However, people are more likely to either go down the wrong road with us, or to drift away when we go too far. A small deviation can turn into a huge drift until we find ourselves head in hands, saying, “This is not who I meant to be.” Be responsible for your own maintenance. Where are you now?
Time: How did you spend your free time during February? After you got the sleep you needed, what did you do with your remaining hours? Did you give time to healthy relationships? Did you give time to your spiritual life? Did you give time to your personal goals? Do you need help improving your time management or energy levels? Check out Lifehack.
Health: During February, did you give your body the nutrition it needed? What did you do to keep it flexible and get your blood flowing? Check out Live Streaming Fitness. In your relationships, did you bravely communicate your needs and compassionately listen? Do you need help learning how to address your own physical and emotional needs? Check out my Aha! Moment podcast with Jennifer Owens on Soundcloud.
Finances: During February, did you spend everything you made or even overspend? Did you save a little and give a little to God? Do you need to be more realistic with your budget? Check out Baby Steps. Is it time to develop some skills or find ways to use the skills you have, so that you can earn a little more? Check out Coursera.
Just as changes to the size of the tires can skew the results of a speedometer, our perceptions and reactions can be skewed if one thing in our lives becomes oversized or out of balance. Last week, I found myself exhausted and a little grouchy at the end of the day, two days in a row. I was shorting my morning time with God, I was skipping exercise and I was devoting all my mental energy to work. I love my job, but a career is not everything. As I sat in my hotel room, getting mad at myself for not wanting to do any of the awesome creative things I had brought with me, my “Check Engine” light came on. I donned my swimsuit and headed for the indoor pool. As I swam, God spoke to me about calibration and helped me review my personal values. Those backstrokes felt luxurious, and my balance returned.
What are your core values? In Galatians, Paul lists the results of a life lived in harmony with the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5 ESV 22The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
If we’re not at peace, quickly losing patience, lacking self-control, then we can ask God to show us where our lives are out of harmony. It may be as simple as the need for exercise and prayer time, or we might be discovering a larger shortcoming that God wants to work on. In either case, pull over and recalibrate.
Lord, You are the only One who is always on time and always on track. The effects of living in harmony with you include joy and peace, and we need that every day. Line us up with You, make us more quickly aware of when we’re veering away, and draw us lovingly back every time. In Jesus’ Name, amen.