Saturday, July 20, 2013

40,000 mile tune-up

I wrote this a few years back, but still find it true today.  I hope it helps you in your rhythm of life!

40,000 Mile Tune-Up

I’m turning 40 year this year. Yikes!

I find myself taking stock of my life: my marriage, my friendships, my vocation, what the next 20 years will be like. I ask questions like “Has my life been fruitful?” or “Why did life turn out this way?” or “Who are my real friends?”  I’m also starting to feel my age and find myself worrying about my appearance. Things such as: the aches and pains, losing hair, my eyesight getting worse, etc.

And as I reflect on these things, I recognize the feelings of insecurity, the disorientation and the “lostness” I feel. There are days I embrace my life as it is and even love my life. And there are days I just want to minimize it and say, “you’ll be fine.” And there are days it feels like a mid-life crisis. When I feel the crisis, it’s tempting to distract myself and numb out. Though it is tempting to pretend that it’s not a big deal or “numb” my anxious feelings, I’m coming to realize that when I don’t pay attention to these warning lights and noises under the hood of my car, it will be more costly in the long run. 

It’s time for a 40,000 mile tune-up. 

Recently, I brought in our Honda Civic to our mechanic for a tune-up. He changed the oil, checked and replaced the fluids, changed the spark plug, serviced the battery and replaced the belts. It's been a reliable car but when it started making some noises under the hood, I felt relieved and pleased to know that I can rely on my mechanic to know what to check under the hood and how to fix it.

In the same way, I’m recognizing the importance of a pastor, a mentor or a counselor to help me in this season of transition.  They help me take a look under the hood, my disappointments about my relationships or how life turned out or the insecurities I feel about the way I look. I’m a bit more at ease in the process because I feel understood even when my circumstances don't make sense.  I also don't feel so alone in my disappointments and uncertainties.

Perhaps your disappointments might be different from mine. It might be your disappointments about being single or not having a family. Or you might feel hopeless about your destructive behaviors. Whatever it is, a good question to ask might be “is it time for a tune-up?”