1

Your cart is empty.

Books for those in ministry organizations who desire to take their leadership, teams, governance, and ministry effectiveness to the next level.

17 Jul '08

The gauges of our lives

Posted by T.J. Addington in Intentional living, The heart
I have a sports car. Unfortunately not one as cool as this picture but it is plenty cool and a six speed. As my son likes to remind me, "dad, both of us know independently how fast it will go." Hmm, that was not welcome news but to be expected. It seems it has an engine governor at the low speed of 120mph with plenty of power to spare judging from the tachometer. Yes, I did get a ticket (fortunately not at 120) which was to be expected. It was not a question of if but when. Only one in four years however.

The thing about a sports car is that you watch the gauges to make sure everything is in order and to keep the engine humming well for a long time. I have learned over the years that my life has gauges as well and if I can monitor them I keep myself from going south. If I don't, well it takes its toll. I have learned to respect the gauges of my life and when they head into the warning or red zone to realign life. I think it is a lesson that we continue to learn through life and with practice comes greater wisdom in choices we make.

I have about eight gauges that I pay attention to. All are necessary for me to live a healthy life, none are perfect (right now I am working hard on a number of them) but when they are in pretty good shape, I am doing well. When they get out of whack, I don't do as well. As you read these, think about the gauges in your life and consider jotting them down for future reference.

These are in no particular order.

Weight:
I really don't like this one because it takes too much work to stay "light" but it is an indication of how well I am taking care of myself and how much time I can give to staying healthy. Oh, there is the discipline thing in there too which is really irritating. Tomorrow I start weight watchers on line (really!).

Marriage:
No question this one is up there because if my relationship with Mary Ann suffers all of life suffers. To know how I'm doing here, all I need to do is watch her happiness level because when we're good she's good and when we're not she's not.

Christ:
My connection with Jesus is a critical gauge and one that is pretty easy to measure. When I'm too busy doing His work (ironic isn't it) I don't have the time for Him. For unhurried time with Him. For meditation or Scripture reading or listening prayer. Not hard to gauge, but not easy to be consistent.

Reading/Writing:
I think, and am at my most creative mentally when I am either reading, writing or preparing to teach or preach. When this gets squeezed out of my schedule I know that my busyness is compromising my ability to stay fresh, to think creatively and to do the strategic planning and thinking I do for
ReachGlobal. Squeezed too much and my creative juices go stale.

Exercise:
Not one of my strong suits historically. Post the 42 day hospital stay it has become a regular part of my schedule. And, a critical part of my future - given the fact that life is not a sprint but a marathon. My best friends remind me of that regularly and get on my case when I become a slacker in this area.

Schedule:
Some would say I flunk this one because my schedule is too tight, too often. Since I don't like to flunk anything, I give it a B (just sounds better) and I am working hard on saying "no" more often and have given my staff permission to do it for me when I am too nice. What I know is that when I operate at too packed a schedule, some of the other of these gauges go into the red zone and the operative word is balance.

Diet:
Life has blessed me with type two diabetes and kidneys that only cooperate on a low sodium diet. So, it means that I need to pay attention to how much I eat and what I eat which again is a matter of personal discipline. And I get to check my blood sugar every two hours during the day.

Intentionality:
I do pretty good at paying attention to the big rocks in my life (except when some of the above go into the red zone which of course is never intentional - I would not want to be intentional about that). But using Key Result Ares and an Annual Ministry Plan I stay pretty focused.

OK, so there you have my gauges. What are yours and how are you doing in watching them and keeping them out of the red zone?

And yes, it is probably good that my car has a governor on it. Life should as well.