Red Line Living?
We have many opportunities in our society to enjoy lots of things, to achieve much and capture as much of life as we can. Sometimes, when we are trying to keep all the plates spinning it can be like being at the red line on the car rev counter – we can get stressed and overloaded.
As I understand it, the red line on a car rev counter is to help reduce vibration and limit engine fatigue and overload, helping the car to last longer. So that the rev counter doesn’t go over the red line, features such as fuel limiters kick in.
We all need resources to combat the pressures of our modern lifestyle, whether it’s faith, our relationships, exercise, a balanced diet, or a combination of these. Lots of studies have shown that people with faith have a better sense of wellbeing and I definitely find that this is the case with my faith as a committed Christian – it’s a dynamic relationship that informs and empowers me in my life.
But we are also not called to live life alone. We need to find those around us who are called to be our red line limiters. Those who we can trust to be honest with us and who we can be vulnerable with.
Our close friends, work colleagues, partners and family are likely to spot that we are near the red line before we do, saying things like “I haven’t seen you much lately”, or “You’ve looked a bit grey this week at work”, or “Were you up in the night again?”, or “You were late for our evening meal again, is everything ok?” But the challenge is being ready to heed the warning of our red line limiters.
This isn’t always easy as we often don’t want to let people down by saying no to things, or admit that we’re struggling. A lot of the time, we simply find it hard to share how we are feeling – even with those close to us. Perhaps our parents have given us a model of hard work that drives us, or perhaps our self-esteem has taken a hit and we just put ourselves under huge pressure. Yet, we all probably know people who have found help by simply sharing how they feel with someone they trust. It’s better to talk rather than let things get to the stage where you hit breaking point.
Are you paying attention to the warning red line limiters in your life?