Anyone who’s ever owned a vehicle knows the challenges of keeping it maintained and ensuring that it stays in continuous running function. It’s a bit of a work in progress, but a labour of love all the same.
A husband and wife team of amateur mechanics—family and a really great couple, swear by this sage advice for keeping your car in tip top shape: Always check your levels!
It occurs to me how important it is to keep our levels checked in other areas of life as well. If we take some poetic license and consider our relationships with God, our spouses, children and other family members, friends, coworkers…as vehicles to destiny, or well-being, or holiness, or joie de vivre, then it would behoove us to pay a bit of attention to what is going on beneath the hood.
A lot of the time we will get caution signs on the dashboards of our lives and ignore them. A red light warning may mean you need to top up on the ‘oils’ that keep your heart’s engine running.
Or you may notice the temperature gauge rising too often and before you know it you’ve lost it with your kids or your employee again.
We get these indicators, and for the vehicles of our relationships to keep running healthy we need to make sure they are topped up well, with the right amounts of the right stuff. People talk about keeping the love tank filled for example, with communication, and tenderness and selflessness.
If there are hairline cracks under the surface that are going to cause major problems later why let them sit there and become bigger issues we can’t deal with on our own.
Desires that have resurfaced out of the blue could mean some maintenance is needed. Children suddenly acting up, or contrarily, being quieter than usual may suggest something is out of whack.
Peaceful afternoons that blow up into petty, unexpected arguments are an indication that someone’s levels may be off. The longer you let these things go unchecked the further reaching the damage and the more costly they may be personally to address.
Sometimes we have blindspots and a keener eye can see where we aren’t functioning at optimum levels of operation. Allow the Holy Ghost—the ultimate Mechanic of our souls—to assess and advise on what needs to be moved, replaced, whatever. Often the vehicles (the relationships) will reveal it themselves; but don’t worry, He’s seen it all.
He’s exceedingly dependable, experienced and insightful. He will do all the heavy lifting, deep cleaning and specialized work—it’s service with a smile, and the price is very reasonable. And sometimes He resets the gas gauge so we realise we won’t be able to go as far as we used to without coming back to fill up with Him.
I encourage you to have a regular check of what is going on in your home, with your husband or wife, in your body, in your spiritual climate, on your schedule, with your children, and their friends, in your attitudes—often enough to ensure your relationships are realizing their full potential.
And on we will go.
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Tao Howard is a little ‘crazy’ – by nature and by circumstance. The wife of one husband and mother of three boys with seemingly endless energy, she is 99% Bajan, 1% Trinidadian and a second generation purple lover and good food lover. Tao is passionate about good design, writing, and helping young people navigate, sustain and preserve their lives and relationships. Most of all she loves Jesus and worshiping Him in various expressions.