Our cars have warning lights that we can look up in our owner’s manual. But what do the “warning lights” look like for men? What are the danger signs that our present pace may prematurely end our race?
Here’s a checklist arranged in categories. Whereas the physical category had the most ticks for me, for you it might be the emotional, mental, or another category. God has designed us all differently and knows which warning lights will best get our attention. But as some of us can’t (or won’t) see warning lights, even when all of them are flashing red and blue right in front of our eyes, why not ask your wife or a friend to go through these lights with you and give you a more objective outsider’s viewpoint?
Physical Warning Lights
- You are suffering health issues one after another. Seventy-seven percent of Americans regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress, including headaches, stomach cramps, achy joints, back pain, ulcers, breathlessness, bad skin, an irritable bowel, tremors, chest pains, or palpitations.1
- You feel exhausted and lethargic all the time, lacking energy or stamina for sports or playing with your kids.
- You find it difficult to sleep, you wake up frequently, or you wake up early and can’t get back to sleep. Maybe you can identify with my friend Paul’s nightmare: “Then came the insomnia. Killer insomnia. Like all night. Then another night. I was panicking. What on earth was going on with me? I went to my doctor. He gave me some heavy-dose, prescription sleep aids. It worked like a peashooter on a tank.”
- You are following the example of a young entrepreneur who admitted to me, “I used my lack of sleep to justify sleeping in later, which only perpetuated that poor sleep cycle.”
- You are like one pastor who confessed to me that “my excessive sleeping was simply an escape.”
- You are putting on weight through lack of exercise or eating too much junk food, or you are drinking too much alcohol or coffee.
- Mental Warning Lights
- Emotional Warning Lights
- Relational Warning Lights
- Vocational Warning Lights
- Moral Warning Lights
- Spiritual Warning Lights
- Pastoral Warning Lights