Writing Life: Taking Time Out

A high-altitude tyre blowout and series of unf...
Photo credit: Motographer

When you have a flat tire, you must stop long enough to change it. (Dan Jordan)

When life sends us a “flat tire,” it forces us to take the time to stop and deal with it. If we don’t, it might destroy the tire and the rim. Then, we will have an even bigger problem.

Flat tires. The “flat tires” of life are different for each person. You may discover another problem with your car, like a strange knock in your car’s engine. Or you might find a virus on your computer. But you’d better not ignore them.

My husband manages a lot of the business problems at work. And when people get computer viruses, they often tell him that they don’t have time to deal with them. But he usually goes straight to the root of their problem. He reminds them that if they don’t stop and take care of the virus issue, eventually it will corrupt their work and shut their computer down.

Health.  It’s hard to just stop what you’re doing at times, right? Even if you experience a health issue, like chest pains, a back injury, the flu, or an allergic reaction to something? In fact, I almost killed my husband with my guacamole once—he had an allergic reaction to some overripe avocados. So, we both had to stop in the middle of our dinner to deal with his unexpected breathing problem.

I’ve learned that I can’t ignore symptoms of health problems, especially as I’m getting older. But even if you have a newborn infant, you can’t ignore some symptoms. My youngest grandson experienced a bout with the RSV virus. I’m so grateful that his mom didn’t ignore his first symptoms—he might not have survived without her intervention.

Spiritual. You can apply the same truth to a spiritual problem. Sometimes, I refuse to stop and seek God for guidance. But God’s Word encourages us, “Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God … above everything” (Psalm 46:10 MSG).

Work. So, when I complained about some work-related problems to my husband recently, he just repeated his “famous” statement to me. “Karen, when you have a flat tire, you must stop long enough to change it.”

Honestly, I had ignored Dan’s advice earlier, and my “flat tire” had put me out of commission for awhile in my work. And for me as a writer, that meant totally laying down my work and seeking God for new direction. But I still struggled with the decision, since I knew that I couldn’t explain my decision to everyone. “What would people think? I’ve made all these commitments!”

Then, I remembered a promised from God’s Word:  “Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met” (Matthew 6:33 TNIV).

I hope you remember to stop and check out the “leaky tires” in your life. Don’t wait, like I did, until you’re stranded in the middle of a busy highway, without a car jack or any help in sight.


Do you see a problem that you need to take care of today?

13 Replies to “Writing Life: Taking Time Out”

    1. HI Keiki! Well, you know what flat tire I need to stop and change today, don’t you? Don’t you just hate it, when your own words convict you? Ugh!

  1. This really hits home for me, Karen. I had to take the car into the shop yesterday because I had a warning light on my dashboard, and the light turned out to be a warning about low tire pressure. Funny thing about it – I was so excited when we bought the car precisely because it had that particular warning light, since I dread flat tires, but when it actually went on, I didn’t know what it was for! Yes, your husband has great advice – you’ve got to stop and fix things before you can move on. And thankfully, sometimes we even get a signal before the tire goes completely flat – if we know what we’re looking at, that is.

    1. Jan, I tend to ignore the warning signs, too. I had one of those moments again yesterday with my computer–I should not have ignored my earlier warnings. Aargh! Will I EVER learn this lesson?!!!!

    1. Me either, Janalyn. It’s funny how on the very day this post went live, I found myself “stranded in the middle of a busy highway, without a car jack or any help in sight.” This time, it was in a city 2 1/2 hrs. away from home with computer problems, without tech support, and deadlines looming overhead–a VERY dark time. Oh, and the WiFi wouldn’t work where I was staying. ;-(

  2. Ooo, I like your message version of Psalm 46: “Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God … above everything” (Psalm 46:10 MSG).

    Thanks for the post, Karen! I’m glad I took some time out to read it!

  3. Great reminder, Karen. How often has the avoidable expense of broken rims taken away resources I could have invested for God? When warning signs begin, an earlier stop can actually get me there faster.

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