What do You do When the Warning Light Comes On?

engine light warningLast week a little red light appeared in the console of our car accompanied by the words “Check Engine.”

Over the years I have destroyed two engines by ignoring this light so this time we immediately had the engine checked.  This got me thinking about the other warning lights that appear in our life and the importance of heeding them.   Then yesterday another warning light came on!

I tried on one of my favorite shirts and it didn’t fit!  Oh, I could get it on, but the buttons groaned in agony and eagles could have nested in the gaps created between the buttons.

Denial was immediate.  “It must have shrunk in the wash!”

However as the author of a book challenging men and women to take action to live fully alive and as a man who has made a renewed commitment to telling the truth (especially to myself) I checked out this warning light.  I took the time to try on all the clothing in my closet.  

When it was over there were three piles of clothing, a small pile that fit comfortably, a larger pile of clothing that fit ,but could possibly be used for medieval torture, and a significant pile that I labeled “Severely Shrunken in the Wash.”

For a while I sat on the edge of my bed beating myself up, then it hit me. (No pun in tended)  Being your own bully is really stupid.

This moment was a gift.  I had been given a warning light that would  help me get back on the right path again.  I had ignored other flickers of warning along the way but like the picture in the book of me standing on the beach, this one captured my attention.  I am so grateful. Too often we ignore all the warning signs, and live in denial until one day we decide it is to late.P2-1

So what is the lesson here?

IT IS NEVER TOO LATE!!  

If there is a warning light blinking in your life, rejoice. Act on it today.

It’s blessing sent from God.  It’s an invitation to drop destructive behavior and return to the joy of living fully alive.

So there you have it.  I am glad you know that I have seen the light and I’m moving to correct my course.  Though I am nowhere near the awful state I talk about in my book,  60 lbs overweight and dangerously out of shape, I refuse to drift back that direction.  

I will keep you informed as I  get back on track and watch the piles of clothing shift back to the ratio they need to be.

In my next post I will share my plan, but I need to hear from you.

Did God ever give you a warning light?
What was it about?
What happened?
Has this post helped you see the light?

I promise to read every comment. Let’s continue to walk toward life together.

Warning light
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If this post was meaningful to you, I know you will enjoy my book Fully Alive.  I have received hundreds of e-mails, letters and comments about how it has changed lives.  Let me know how it affects you.

 

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • http://twitter.com/FrugalFocused1 Janet Ridgeway

    My favorite jeans are uncomfortably tight and I’ve been finding myself drifting towards the “comfy” clothes in the morning. I’ve been inconsistent with my healthy eating and exercise and it’s showing. These jeans will fit comfortably again. I just need to refocus. I want my whole life to honor God and that includes how I treat my body – my food choices and fitness being a part of that. Looking forward to reading your plan for getting back on track.

    • http://www.kendavis.com/ Ken Davis

      “I want my whole life to honor God and that includes how I treat my body -” What a wonderful goal.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      I can feel your pain Janet. I, too, have drifted away from the healthy choices I’d been making and I can tell by the fit of my clothes. I’ve decided to start making the tiny choices that will help course correct the path I’m on. Hope you’re successful as you begin the change!

  • DDF

    God got my attention about my emotional health 20 years ago, showing me you can’t be “Just fine.” Fine is not an emotion. “It’s a grade of sand paper,” my wife says.

    What happened is that I started embracing the fact that you cannot be spiritually healthy if you are emotionally unhealthy. The two are inextricably bound. And I’ve been working at it for 20 years.

    Every plan for emotional health or physical health or spiritual health … requires really staying present and not escaping to the land of numb where everyone is “Just fine.”

    And of course being present requires being honest.

    • http://www.kendavis.com/ Ken Davis

      Thank you DDF for your honesty. The importance of emotional health was neglected by the church for a long time. I’am glad to see that changing.

  • http://www.janiscox.com/ Janis Cox

    Great post. Watching for those cues – important. I believe God speaks to us that way.

    • http://www.kendavis.com/ Ken Davis

      He definitely does, Janis

  • http://www.GregLGilbert.com/ Greg L. Gilbert

    Great warning light for all of us. I was walking early one morning on the country road in front of my farm and a friend stopped to say hello. He asked me why I was walking, “Have you had a heart attack?” I laughed and said no, I’m trying to NOT have one. I felt like he was asking why I was wasting precious time walking BEFORE I had a heart attack? Many of us will just put a piece of black electrical tape over the warning light and pretend its not there.

    • http://www.kendavis.com/ Ken Davis

      Your friends question made me laugh. In my book fully alive I relate how my friend Phil Waltrep tell how after he lost weight. People would ask him if he had cancer.. Evidently looking healthy is unusual in our culture. thanks for your comment Greg

  • http://www.GregLGilbert.com/ Greg L. Gilbert

    I always tell myself, FBC does not stand for First Baptist Church, it stands for Fat By Choice.

  • heidibylsma

    Ken, I would love to send you a book that you might like. Can I do that? You can do what you want with it. It would be awesome if you had a look, though. (I know you probably get offers like this all the time and I am rolling my eyes at my audacity.)

    • http://www.kendavis.com/ Ken Davis

      Unroll your eyes and send the book. If you don’t believe in your book, no one else will. BRing it on. Our address in on my web site. http://www.kendavis.com I encourage you to read fully alive as well. Thank you for your comment and your courage. Now unroll those eyes.

      • heidibylsma

        LOL! Got your book on my iPad! I also bought your other one for communicators. Saved my life before speaking at a retreat last year. THANK YOU! Sending you the book today. :-) Hope you think it worthwhile.

      • http://juliesunne.com/ Julie Sunne

        Fully Alive is awesome, Ken! I posted a review on my site and am recommending it to everyone I know. Praying my writing will be as vulnerable and relevant.

  • http://www.sundijo.com Sundi Jo Graham

    Praying for you to get back on track, as I’m praying the same for myself.

    • http://www.kendavis.com/ Ken Davis

      Thanks Sundi, Life is like a rocket headed for the moon. Lot’s of little corrrections along the way. I meant Corrections – theres one right now.

  • http://twitter.com/cathywrites4U Cathy Pullins

    Oh…sigh….this is cute and timely. My resources are low and I rationalized that staying on my wheatless & sugarless /energy enriching diet is an unnecessary hassel. So I started eating regular food again. It’s easier but my energy is less consistent and food cravings are stronger. RIGHT before I read this I was thinking about this observation. A little voice said, “You are going to gain weight quickly if you keep eating like this.”

    I am weary on this stage of my journey so, I thought, I don’t know if I care, I am valuing easy now. THEN I followed a whim to see why my online mentor, Michael Hyatt follows YOU on twitter. I read this article and THANKS. I will heed the early warning now. Whew.

    I love the way I so frequently find on-time guidance in print. Thank you.

    • http://www.kendavis.com/ Ken Davis

      Cathy, So glad you came over to take a peek. Even happier that you found some encouragement. After losing almost 60 lbs, I refuse to go back to the unhealthy life I was leading. Life is 5 steps forward, one step back, three steps forward…. I believe that we have to be honest about all the steps in life and seek encouragement from friends. BTW you will enjoy tomorrow’s post about my friend a business partner Mike Hyatt. Thank you so much for your comment.

  • Dwight

    Hey Ken, you nailed me! A warning light came on in my life a month ago and I NEED to heed it. Thanks for being relevant!

    • http://www.kendavis.com/ Ken Davis

      I’m to old to pretend. I need all my strength and the help of others to keep on track. thanks dwight

  • http://www.chrisjeub.com/ Chris Jeub

    We hugged each other at the Platform Conference. I noticed a bit of a bounce back.

    I’m with you, Ken! Here are my numbers: I lost 20 pounds last year, I was so proud of myself, but gained another 10 by mid February. After spending a short time beating myself up, I became resolved to get back into fitness (which was originally inspired by you, by the way!). I’ve trimmed a few pounds off in the last few weeks, but would love to have it all off by summer, another 10 off by the end of the year. I’m in, buddy!

    Thanks for being transparent with everyone. You are so encouraging…and that’s awesome!

    • http://www.kendavis.com/ Ken Davis

      Chris, I am so grateful for your friendship and commitment to Christ.

  • Saralee Perel

    The light inside my refrigerator is a blinking red light.

    • http://www.kendavis.com/ Ken Davis

      LOL! That is hilarious. A bright spot in my day.

  • http://juliesunne.com/ Julie Sunne

    Great encouragement to get back up and keep moving forward after a fall or set back, Ken. Refreshing thought since we often tell ourselves we are losers when we stumble. Thanks!

    • http://www.kendavis.com/ Ken Davis

      Stumblers aren’t losers, those who never risk it are. I’m back on track.

      • http://juliesunne.com/ Julie Sunne

        Agreed!

  • In 6 Days

    I’m was about 33kgs, (72lbs) over weight, Each morning I would
    wake up knowing this is the first day of my new diet/exercise routine, and
    every night I go to bed knowing that I didn’t stick to it, even for one lousy
    day. However motivation has come about by way of the local prison. You see I’ve
    put my hand up to be a prison Chaplin, something that has been in my heart for
    several years now. The thing is I need to be fit, and I’m not, 15 mins playing
    tennis on the Wii and I’m huffing and puffing. But now with 32kgs to go I’m
    moving down the scale. Giving up smoking was just about the easiest thing I’ve
    ever done, but food….

  • Amy von Borstel

    Ken, your words bless me. I had gotten off track during the holidays and started eating sweet treats that I don’t normally eat. I had my reality check during the past few weeks and I am now staying away from sweet foods and exercising 5-6 times each week. It’s easy to fall back into old habits (for me).

    Now that I’m in my forties, I am more determined than ever to be healthy in every way. God has and is continuing to use your book, Fully Alive, in powerful ways. Thanks for being you!

  • Tia

    I never thought of it that way! I’m my own bully way too often! It’s so much more freeing to know that God shows us warning lights not to put us down but to help us get closer to Him :)

  • Carol

    Oh Ken, what a great message this is! I too have been noticing the warning lights lately of my weight creeping up again. Ugh, how I hate the feeling of tight clothing. But for me, because my weight is so high, my warning is more like that robot flailing his arms on Lost In Space: “DANGER! DANGER Will Robinson!” Even knowing that danger is ahead doesn’t make it easy to make the needed changes. I do applaud you, Ken, for the weight you’ve lost and for the loss you strive to maintain. You are such an inspiration to me.

  • Carol

    I forgot to add this to my last comment. I’ve been reading an e-book called The Eden Diet by Rita Hancock, MD. To help us decide if we are really hungry when the craving to eat hits us, she suggests asking ourselves, “Are you hungry enough to eat a boring food? Like an apple?” For me, apples aren’t boring, but I put canned split pea soup into that category. If I’m starving, yes, I’ll eat split pea soup. If I’ve just got the munchies, split pea soup doesn’t interest me at all. If I can say yes, I can fill this hunger with split pea soup, then chances are I am truly hungry. SO THEN, I don’t have to really eat the soup, I but I’ve earned the right to eat something. I think she calls this mindful eating. But if I turn my nose up at the split pea soup, then I’m really not that hungry, and I need to distract myself awhile longer and wait for true hunger. This has been helpful. For my daughter, the boring food is bananas. What is your boring food, Ken?
    To help us

  • Carmen

    Thanks Ken! My warning light was about some negative comments I had made regarding one of our children. I was in the process of beating myself up when I read your comment that “Being your own bully is really stupid!” It’s been a long road on a parenting path lined with severe health issues, and I weary at times. I need badly to sit with the Lord and review my son’s attributes with Him so that I can have a fresh perspective. Putting myself into an accountability group is also vital. Thanks for the encouragement and for the reminder to be kind to myself and seek a positive direction in the Lord’s power.

  • ddh

    God has showed me that food is an idol for me. I am trying to obey God and think of food as nourishment and not as something I turn to when I have fears, doubts, worries, and the list goes on and on. It is a constant battle.

  • Lori

    My girls and I saw you on Netflix. It was another survival day. My husband died almost three years ago after 23 hard years. I feel like we’ve been on a roller coaster. I too was told I’d never amount to anything, but I have 3 amazing daughters and two mind altering grandsons. I am 70 lbs overweight and only 45. I gave up a while ago to just being the widowed fat not so jolly grandma. I don’t want that. I want to try what you were describing, but it’s hard to get past the fear…you know? Thank you. It was so good seeing the girls really laugh at you! ;)

    Lori in Colorado

  • http://www.facebook.com/coreyvandyke Corey VanDyke

    So I believe I am getting this warning sign now. I was saved in high school, but have not lived in God’s name. I am now married and have two beautiful daughters and I want to recommit my life to God. I have many fears that have manifested in my life. The fear of dying, flying, etc. and I want to move past these with God’s help. I found your video on Netflix yesterday and watched it. It gives me great hope.

  • Tom Kohls

    My last visit to the doctor he announced I was over the line between pre-diabetic and diabetic and he was prescribing medication. That got my attention! I’m changing my diet, watching how much I eat, (hope to lose weight) and walking every day for a half hour. I will get your book to see how you did it! Keep setting the example of being fully alive…