I’m not a car person. I love having a car. I like getting from point a to point b. I’m just not that into cars. I don’t pay attention to things my car is doing or not doing. I know, that’s bad. I don’t know what kind of tires I have or if it needs an oil change or inspecting. But I am usually aware of what gear I have it in. I know Park from Drive, for example.
In a devotional book by Richard Swenson, M.D., A Minute of Margin, he writes that the healthiest lifestyle has four gears. Park: for contemplation, rest and renewal. Low: for relationships, family and friends. No hurry, just quality. Drive: this is normal, productive speed–we use this for work, for exercise, for cleaning the house. Overdrive: for times that require extra effort and energy–like a big event, a deadline or something unusual, like a family member in the hospital.
Here’s the problem, most of us, because we have no space (margin) in our lives, are living just about full time in overdrive. We think it is normal. It is not normal. It is not good for us. It is not good for our relationships. We think it is awesome to be super-productive. It is not. It is not how God intended us to live.
Recently, because of the way events came together for me, I experienced 10 days of overdrive. Everything I was doing was good. Some of the things I was doing were exceptionally good. However, as I paid attention to my body during this time of overdrive, she was not happy. She broke out in hives. She hurt. She got cranky. She’s still tired.
These last three days, I parked. I was a little productive here and there. But mostly I parked.
Dr. Swenson writes, Our cars are not meant to race at high speeds continuously–the engines would burn up. Neither are our bodies or spirits meant to race continuously….Discover where you keep your clutch, and change gears often. Go fast and hard with God’s blessing, but only for appropriate activities….The slow lane in life is just as important as the fast lane–commit to spending more time there. (A Minute of Margin).