Where the rubber meets the road

By Gerry Lewis | Published Saturday, April 21, 2018

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Have you checked your tires lately? Are they properly inflated? Do they have plenty of tread?

It’s dangerous on the roadways, my friends. While we can’t guarantee the safety of our loved ones and ourselves, there are some things we can do to ensure we arrive safely at our destinations.

For instance, don’t text and drive; obey the posted speed limit and other warning signs; stay focused and properly maintain your vehicle.

This morning, I’m pondering tire maintenance as a life metaphor. Our tires are where the rubber meets the road. How can metaphoric tire maintenance help us increase the likelihood of safe travel on the road of life?

Proper inflation: A tire that doesn’t have enough air is more likely to fail. Many newer model vehicles have a tire pressure warning light that shows up on the dashboard even though the tire may not look any different at first glance. That warning light tells us the tire needs closer inspection, so we can restore proper pressure before a crisis occurs. Ignoring inflation until you walk out the door and find a tire flat on the ground is a good way to mess up a day.

Wouldn’t it be great if life came with warning lights? Warning, you’ve been going, pushing, driving and chasing whatever you are chasing, and it has been far too long since you stepped back and took a deep breath. You need to be refreshed, restored and inspired on a regular basis or you will find yourself flat or even blown out by the side of the road wondering what went wrong.

Balance: Tires out of balance can produce a wobbly ride. A life out of balance can create a sense of vertigo or disequilibrium. Tire balance is restored through a proper distribution of weight. Life balance is restored by taking a close look at how much time, energy and focus you are spending on the different areas of your life, so that you can redistribute the weight as needed to restore a sense of equilibrium.

Alignment: Tires out of alignment cause uneven wear and performance failure. It has to do with direction. Misaligned tires are not moving effectively together in precisely the same direction. and the result is friction, making progress more difficult. A life out of alignment, where all the different pieces are not moving together toward a common vision, results in friction, uneven wear, and premature failure. Restoring alignment gets all the “tires” moving together in tandem so that the vehicle (life) is moving toward the desired destination.

There is so much more I could say about that and probably will in a different format, but here’s where the rubber meets the road: Life balance is knowing what belongs and what is essential to the life you want to live. Life alignment is knowing where you are going and how to travel well. Life inspiration is taking the reflection time necessary to know what adjustment is most needed at this point in the journey.

Your life matters to God. Check your tires and drive well.

Dr. Gerry Lewis, author, blogger, church consultant and leadership coach, serves as executive director of the Harvest Baptist Association in Decatur.

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