Friday, January 16, 2009

If you think of your body as a car, which gear do you spend the most time in? Dr. Richard Swenson writes in his book Margins that the healthiest lifestyle comes equipped with four gears: park, low, drive, and overdrive.

Park – This gear is for meditative times when we need to rest and recharge our batteries. In this gear we spend time reflecting on our values and our faith or when we pray and study the Bible. I’m in this gear when I read a book for sheer pleasure or take a yoga class or read my morning devotion.

Low – This gear is for our relationships with family and friends. We use this gear when we read to our children or enjoy a cup of coffee (green tea, in my case) with a friend. We’re in this gear when we console a friend or share a funny story. We need periods in our life when we slow down enough to give and receive support from those we love.

Drive – We use this gear for work and play. We use lots of energy and are at our most productive when we’re in drive. This gear gets us places. I’m in drive when I power walk or work with a leadership team on a project.

Overdrive - We go into overdrive when we need extra energy like when we’re trying to meet a deadline. Athletes use this gear in sporting events. We’re overdrive when we attempt to multi-task. Like many of you, I stayed in this gear during much of the hectic holiday season.
Sadly, many of us stay in overdrive never slowing down to shift into other gears. Neither our cars nor our bodies are designed to run continually at break neck speeds. Just as our cars run down or overheat, out bodies will too if we don’t take time to slow down. Our minds and bodies will become tired, weary, and burdened if we don’t find balance. Jesus tells in Matthew 11:28-30 to go to him when we are weary.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

For our body, mind, and spirit to work together in harmony and balance, we may need to adjust our gears. Which gear do you need to work on?


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