How to… Get an Alignment

While I don’t specifically know how a car is aligned, I do know alignment is very important. When a car is severely misaligned, the driver can feel it pull toward the side of the road even while holding the steering wheel. Slight to moderate misalignment is more difficult but not impossible to notice.

Why is alignment important to a vehicle? Misalignment in an automobile causes uneven and rapid tire wear as well as lack of steering feel and responsiveness. In addition, misalignment causes added vibration throughout the vehicle which can increase the wear and tear on the vehicle as a whole.

I’m sure a mechanic (or most guys) could explain it better, but you get the idea.

How does this idea of alignment transfer to a person’s life? When a person is out of alignment, he has difficulty listening to others and giving focused attention. She may appear to be listening, but she is not giving 100% of herself. A misaligned individual gets frustrated easily and might feel constantly worn out.

Signs of misalignment include being easily or quickly worn out, neglecting important parts of life such as exercise and healthy eating, and drifting from usual habits like regular meals, a good night’s sleep and daily devotions. Other signs include struggling to keep up with the routine of work and career as well as noticing a severe decline in attitude.

Why is alignment so important? When a person is out of alignment in any area, they are headed for a more serious situation such as significant illness, depression, and destruction of relationships. In other words, misalignment is a warning sign that we must heed if we expect to prevent some of the more serious situations that can take us completely out of commission.

The following 3 guidelines can help assess your alignment as well as steer you toward a straighter path.

1. Plan for inclement weather. Since I live in Michigan, I know the weather can change in a heartbeat and often does so half a dozen times in one day. Similarly, life can change instantly, and we must be as aligned as possible when struggles, trials and tragedies hit, because they will eventually hit. Keeping up with basic maintenance – healthy eating, exercise, daily prayer and devotions, etc. – can help keep you between the lines when the road gets rough.

2. Ask for help. Just like we need a mechanic to align our vehicles, we also need others to help keep our lives aligned. First and foremost, establish your marriage as a place of safety, refuge and help by using solid Marriage Maintenance Tips. Second, learn How to… Be Accountable. Third, place yourself under a Bible-believing, preaching and teaching minister. These are just for starters with the basic point being that No Man is An Island.

3. Develop a preventative maintenance plan. My family and I get monthly alignments at our chiropractor with the belief that this allows our bodies to function at their highest potential. Your preventative maintenance plan should include the above two tips as well as a continuing education (more on this in future posts). Each individual’s plan is unique, but each individual needs to have a plan.

As 2012 quickly nears an end, consider taking time to assess your alignment. Evaluate the various areas of your life – spiritual, physical, mental & social – to identify any areas of misalignment. Begin this evaluation process with a time of prayer asking for God’s perspective on each area.

We are so limited in our capacity to fix things, yet we focus so much of our energies trying to do just that. Let us instead focus on making our relationship with Christ our primary concern and then follow His plan for staying aligned.

DISCUSSION: What additional suggestions do you have for getting aligned?

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12 thoughts on “How to… Get an Alignment

  1. I think the thing that keeps me aligned more than anything is the regular renewing of the mind – especially in the areas of my life that are messed up and obviously need aligning!

    • You set a great example with how you constantly work to renew your mind and in being brave to share that in your blogging. Definitely an effective way to get and stay aligned.

  2. Kari,

    I'm always hesitant to add comments about journal writing because I worry people will think I'm just looking for a place to "push my wares." I'm not.

    I'm passionate about the good results achievable through consistent and regular use of a written journal. And your question about additional suggestions for getting aligned nagged at me until I decided I just had to say it.

    Using a journal for daily devotionals, for self improvement emphasis, for skill improvement, for emotion sorting and for any number of other focused reasons is a simple, cost effective way toward the goal of "getting aligned."

    Your article is great. The first thing you mentioned, preparing for inclement weather is so right on. As an example, yesterday I received a phone call telling me that my 45 year old friend had died of a heart attack. She seemed so vibrant and healthy to me. Inclement weather takes so many forms. Today, I mourn the loss of a young friend.

    • I am so sorry to hear of this man's death! It does serve as a perfect example of preparing for inclement weather for sure. My prayers go out to you and to his family. As for journaling, I am a HUGE journaler. I may not have referred to that in this post, but it is a tremendous part of my prayer life. Journaling is how I work through almost everything. I have written some other posts about journaling but haven't in a while. Maybe I need to again. Perhaps it's something I take for granted because it's so much a part of who I am and has been for so long. So, thank you for bringing this point up. It is definitely a huge way that I get and stay aligned. Now that I am thinking more about it, I do wish I would have mentioned it in the post. Again, thank you for bringing this up. Your comment fills in a definite hole on the topic started in the post.

  3. I really like the idea of preventative maintenance. I know that often we go and go and go and go until something just breaks down. But I've noticed that not only does that exhaust me and cause problems, but I've often wasted time and a lot of opportunities by moving in the wrong direction for so long. These periods of alignment have been immensely helpful for me.

    • Last night while watching football, a commentator was speaking on the murder/suicide with the Kansas City player. He questioned (and I think he was referring to a news article) why we go from tragedy to tragedy and only get woke up about what we need to change in our lives and our society because of these tragedies. Basically, why do we need tragedies to make us get aligned? If we worked on our "stuff" with a preventative maintenance approach, wouldn't we avoid more tragedy? He didn't say all this, but it was definitely inferred, and I think you're getting at it with your comment too.

  4. Great analogy and application. One reminder also about misalignment: If your wheels are badly misaligned an accident caused by losing control is a risk and you can run right off the road where danger lurks. Isaiah 35 speaks of the Highway to heaven imagery that God has his chosen people to walk under His protection. If we veer off course we are risk of the dangers that lurk there. It is always much easier steering on the highway when all the wheels are properly aligned. Thanks Kari… Michigan is a great place!

    • Great point, Coach. Not only does misalignment prevent us from reacting well to what life hands us, it can also lead to accidents that would not otherwise happen. About the "Highway to Holiness," I am so glad you noted that too. Not only does it fit well with this discussion, but it reminds me of a post idea on that scripture. The idea of staying aligned to allow us to stay on His Highway to Holiness is such a significant key to finishing the race strong.

  5. Hi Kari, I love this post. It is so true that we often fail to pay attention to the signs that we need to get some things back in line, like eating right, finding a way to work out in the semi, and other areas that make it easier to deal with the storms we all face. Thanks for sharing! As always you get to the point and do a great job.

  6. To be misaligned certainly wears on the soul. It also effects us both physically and mentally. I like the verse Amos 7:7-8 "This is what he showed me: The Lord was standing by a wall that had been built true to plumb,[a] with a plumb line[b] in his hand. 8 And the Lord asked me, “What do you see, Amos?”

    “A plumb line,” I replied.

    Then the Lord said, “Look, I am setting a plumb line among my people Israel; I will spare them no longer."

    Jesus is our plumb line and we need often to set ourselves up against him to see if we are plumb and if we are out of alignment we need to move back to plumb.

    • The plumb line is another great analogy that I could have used too. Definitely fits well with this topic, and the scripture may show up in a post sometime. Hope Houston is warm for you Mark!

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