Necessary Maintenance

So, for our upcoming journey, I took my car in to have its 20K mile checkup and an oil change.  All turned out well except one part that needed to be replaced since it was very dirty.  Our van was given the okay for the journey and so we continue to prepare for this journey.

So if you are about to face your own journey or just facing everyday life, you need to maintain yourself just like a car needs to be maintained and parts replaced as they get old or dirty after so many miles so you can keep going.

Maintenance for people can include eating right, going to our doctors, exercising, making sure we get enough rest, and restoring our souls.  When we maintain ourselves and keep in great shape (I’m not in the best of shape), we can keep going to serve God’s purpose.

Furthermore, maintaining our souls include entering a place of solitude (seeking the voice of God), praying (listening and talking to God), and reading His word (to know His voice and to strengthen us).   These maintenance steps can lead to a healthier soul and an overall outlook on life while loving people just like the maintenance on our vehicle keeps going and providing us with transportation.

After all, the two greatest commandments in Matthew 22: 37-39 (NIV) reads “Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

Yeah, something may come up no matter how much you maintain yourself or your vehicle.  Like just before our trip to Nevada, I had to replace the wheel and tire after hitting a piece of debris on the freeway.  Or, more recently, a chip in the windshield or the part that had to be replaced to today. But we just keep going and remember that One you listen to and talk to, is there with you.  Or you may have a neighbor who helps out since they love you and God as much as they love themselves in a healthy way.

Finally, when we maintain ourselves through prayer, solitude, and reading of the word, we can handle the bumps and debris in our lives.

As we conclude, please think about the areas of your life that need to be maintained…how can you maintain them or fix these areas?

What happens if you don’t listen…especially to your wife?

So, as reported on an earlier blog, hubby went to the hospital earlier this week and went through a series of tests.  ERs do need to make sure they cover all the bases!   We thought it might be his heart or an infection.  Alas, it turned out to be simple dehydration…

Dehydration…it’s what happens when you do not drink enough fluid; however, my husband needs to be careful since his kidneys do not function and if there is too much fluid, that can cause problems too.

Before we headed to Nevada for a vacation, I warned hubby to stay on top of his fluids and make sure he was drinking enough water especially in the dry heat and in our area, where we experienced above average temperatures.  Did hubby listen?  No…he went in the hole without enough water and landed in the hospital (a place he does not like to go to).

Though many of you can relate to your spouse, a child, or parent not listening to you, there is one voice that we – including me – do not always listen to.

Or, we ignore that small quiet voice telling us what to do.

This person we all ignore is God as He gives us guidance, answers prayers (not always the answer we were expecting) or when He is casting a vision into our lives.

Why don’t we listen:

  1. By human nature, we have a tendency to disobey
  2. With many distractions, we would rather listen to other voices
  3. Like my husband, we think we have it under control
  4. With prayer, we want a different answer
  5. Hearing gets worse as you continue to ignore the voice of the Holy Spirit
  6. Simply, we don’t have time to listen or we ignore it completely

As we prepare for our journey, we are trying to listen to that still small voice and the direction He wants us to go.  It is difficult and I am preparing for a new class on Monday called The Spiritual Journey: The Integrated Approach of Henri Nouwen where I’ll learn to listen to that voice more and focus on listening to God and the purpose He has for our lives.

Finally, if you don’t listen, you can land yourself in hot water for not listening (like my husband) or end up on the wrong path….

So, what direction are you ignoring?  Are you ignoring that still small voice?

If so, take time to be still and quiet while listening for that still small voice.  This can be done through prayer and reading His word.  It can also be done through turning off electronics like phones, computers, etc.  Even getting away for at least an hour or so, if you can.   And, remember, He is listening to you too…

Finally….remember to listen to your spouse!  Often the Holy Spirit is using them or they have sound, sage advice…