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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