How Much Tread Is Left?
by Shauna Wallace
Racing to Dallas for a Cowboys game last year, we knew exactly what happened the moment we heard the POW: a blowout. Not only is it always inconvenient to lose a tire, but it can also be extremely dangerous, like when you’re going 70 MPH on the interstate! Blowouts can jerk your vehicle into a collision, or at the very least, you might find yourself changing a tire unguarded on the side of the freeway. Like us. Thankfully, James eased the car to the shoulder without incident, and to my great relief, a safety patrolman rolled up within minutes and relieved me from human traffic cone duty.
We still don’t know what caused the blowout. The most common reasons include vehicle overload, road hazards like potholes that cause impact damage, air loss due to cuts and punctures, cracks in the inside wall of the tire and worn tread.
No, I am not a mechanic and this is not about road safety. It’s about life, and the tread on our tires…
…as women, wives, moms and all the other hats we wear. So let’s talk tire tread as it has to do with preventing blowouts in our lives and relationships.
When tires are new, they are more likely to hold the proper amount of air pressure, grip the road, absorb impact and handle debris. As tires become bare, the very same irritants can cause major blowouts.
Every one of us has “tread” in our lives – the ability to buffer and shake off life’s bumps and irritants. If our tread is good, we handle the bumps of life with more ease. But as our tread thins, we risk major blowouts that can damage us, others and relationships.
I use this metaphor often with my husband, James, because he’s king of word pictures, and it’s the quickest, most effective way to help him understand the mystery of female emotions, especially since he’s a car guy. But we all understand tires, don’t we? When I or one of our three daughters are not handling the bumps of life with as much ease as normal and we are experiencing blowouts in the family, this comparison brings immediate clarity. I let him know there’s just not enough tread to handle the irritants right now, and if I know why, I explain what is wearing the tread thin.
Just like we take care of our tires – keeping an eye on air pressure, tread thickness, how many miles are on the tires, rotating and balancing them – we need to keep an eye on our spiritual, emotional and physical tread.
How many miles have you put on yourself lately without taking care of yourself spiritually, physically or mentally? This is not selfish. It’s necessary. It protects a healthy tread, and healthy tread protects those around us from our blowouts.
What ways can you begin to restore tread to your tires today? Think in terms of body, spirit, and soul (mind, will and emotions). Whichever area is low, do something to restore tread, TODAY. Pray as you consider the questions below. The list is representative, not exhaustive, and only the Holy Spirit can give you clarity on what you need, so ask Him to do so as you read.
- Body: Do you need to rest or sleep? Do you need to exercise consistently or even scale back if you’re doing too much? Do you need to change any food or beverage choices, eliminating empty, toxic foods and eating nutrient-rich options? Are you overcommitted and spread too thin?
- Spirit: Do you need to spend more time resting in God, learning His truth and surrendering the weight of the world to Him? Do you need to confess sin to Him and a trusted someone who will pray with you? Are you spending time just talking or journaling to God, processing your thoughts, struggles, questions, fears, hopes, etc. with Him in an honest conversation? Are you making Bible reading and study a priority so you can know God more, know His truth and be equipped to see and think with His perspective? Are you obeying God, or is there an area of your life you are withholding from Him and trying to control?
- Soul: Are you giving yourself permission to enjoy something you love – a hobby, a movie, good book, time with friends who make you laugh? Are you spending too much time on social media? Have you gone on a walk lately, maybe even take a day trip or window shopped? What is it that refills your tank when life drains you? Are you holding onto negative emotions like offense, bitterness and unforgiveness, pride, discontentment and/or a critical spirit?
Friend, you are the only one who can take good care of your tread. Do you need to balance and rotate your tires? What will you do today?
Much love and many blessings,
Women are drawn to Shauna’s teaching and Bible studies because of her in-depth yet conversational and practical approach to scripture’s truths as they apply to the nitty-gritty of daily life. The more she studies the Bible, the greater her grasp of God’s grace and love and the deeper her passion to see others experience the power and freedom of surrendering entirely to Him. She is a wife, mother and working woman who gladly and transparently connects with women wherever they are by sharing the good, bad and challenging of her life story, past, and present. Learn more at www.shaunawallace.com.