|Posted on April 2, 2020 at 8:55 AM|
Cockpit panel photo by Charlaine Martin, February 2020. All rights reserved.
My hubby is a pilot, so we love to cruise the sky in our single-engine plane on gorgeous days. Since he is teaching me to fly, I had to learn to read the many gauges on the instrument panel. It is easy to stay on course when there is a gentle breeze, but some days I feel like a toy batted around the sky by an invisible kitten. Then there are days the wind speeds could knock the plane out of the air, which certain speeds indicate a ground excursion in our car or on foot would be a better decision for us.
The instrument panel is critical because it shows me where we are in air space on a map. I also can see conditions of the plane itself like carburetor, engine, and oil heat, and fuel levels. One time, we took off, set for a beautiful flight around the edge of the Great Lakes bordering the Thumb of Michigan. No sooner had we taken off, my hubby checked the gauges that gave indications of our plane conditions. Suddenly, he exclaimed, “We have to make an emergency landing!” He radioed the airport, letting the airport personnel know we had to land immediately. No stall horn sounded an alert for the emergency, so I was confused. When we landed, he taxied the plane over to the building. Two elderly pilots sitting at a picnic table in the building’s shade hobbled up to our aircraft when the propeller stopped. I listened in on their conversation to discover we had a runaway prop. What this simply meant is our engine would torque out of the cowling and our propeller soon to fly off without us. This particular hazard has been the source of many crash deaths for pilots. Dying certainly wasn’t in our plans that day. It must not have been in God’s plan either.
Mission Critical: Check All the Indicators
If we only gaze outside of the plane, without checking our instruments, we could miss critical indicators of danger, such as the near-accident my hubby diverted. If we only stare at the instrument panel’s gauges, we miss important information from our environment, like rain, ice, other planes on a collision course with ours, and our destination’s runway lights necessary for a safe landing. We need the whole picture from both the gauges and the environment to pilot our plan safely to our destination.
Our health and faith journey is similar. We have indicators that give us information about our health status. Some of them we use like how our clothes fit and how much we weigh. Some of us use our body composition as an indicator of our health status. Others have health numbers from the doctor’s office like blood pressure, heart rate, blood sugar, cholesterol, and others, which might be highly personalized. There are some indicators that we are in danger like the conviction of Scripture passages, input from a family member or friend, and our own emotions. All of these come into play for our total health package.
Mission Critical: Read All the Gauges for Total Health Status
I had indicators that my health was in danger but failed to recognize them for what they were. I barely kept my weight up to 115-120 lbs six years ago. It wasn’t until three almost four years ago I discovered my immune system was working overtime. I could eat an incredible amount for my size yet didn’t gain an ounce, indicating something was wrong. There were other gauges like my heart rate, blood pressure, and blood sugar, which often plummeted. I spent more time in bed than ever. My doctor chased down a symptom here and another there, but never found exactly what was behind the symptoms. When I had my heart attack, the ball for progress began to move. As my cardiologist began working with me, we came to the conclusion I needed to see a rheumatologist. She did extensive testing that revealed the source of my problems: an autoimmune disease. If I kept chasing down symptoms and never figured out the underlying issue, I might not be here today.
Mission Critical: More than Meets the Eye
The same could hold true for you. Those numbers on your scale and how your clothes fit aren’t the only gauges you need. You have a whole control panel and the environment with which to work. Sometimes, we forget other factors like the health of relationships, faith in God, and emotions are out on the horizon, indicating a potential wreck. One ministry couple came to me for a basic exercise program. Both were considered overweight, which is why they wanted to lose weight and improve their health. When I measured their hip-to-waist ratio, I could see their potential for heart problems, but when I took their blood pressure, I realized I couldn’t safely work with them. I sent them to see their doctor because their blood pressure was dangerously high. When they came back to me after starting blood pressure medication, they thanked me for protecting them from impending danger. What did I do? I looked at two gauges. They didn’t know a health time bomb was quietly ticking away. Once they got their blood pressure down, they began to exercise. Not only that but in our discussions, I shared my previous church ministry experience with them. They began to reduce their stresses with church ministry. Total health takes a comprehensive approach to our health—physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual—to be totally healthy.
Mission Critical: Help from the Control Tower
Sometimes we need someone to help us check all the indicators for total health. Health coaches are a valuable resource, as are personal trainers and doctors. Recently I offered free Healthy Lifestyles for six weeks, “Off to a Great Start” to you. I never heard anything from you or anyone else who reads these blog posts. Why wouldn’t you want to take advantage of a comprehensive Christian approach to health improvement and weight loss? There are no strings attached. I’m not selling anything, but I have dropped one of the groups offered. I’m simply sharing what I can during this stressful time with COVID-19 looming on the horizon if it hasn’t already affected you and your family. Simply email or message me that you want to take advantage of this gift. I would love to see you learn how to use the tools to keep yourself from crashing your total health.
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May God bless you!