On Monday morning I absolutely could not get out of bed. I’m not a morning person but, for this entire month, I’ve been waking up at 5:00 to have a productive morning before going to work. But on Monday it was like I was in high school again. My FitBit alarms went off and I slept through them. When my alarm clock went off I snoozed it for over an hour.
Then yesterday morning I woke up at 2:00 to a sore throat. I had been fighting off illness for weeks, but in that moment I realized my defeat. So I gathered my pillows and blankets to go sleep on the couch because I didn’t want to infect my pregnant wife.
I didn’t feel that great sleeping on the couch, but it made me feel a little bit better about Monday morning. I thought I wasn’t able to wake up because I was lazy. It turns out, though, that my body was just giving me some warning signs about my impending cold. I was more tired than usual and my throat was sore; these were the signs that I was getting sick.
Ideally I would have responded to these signs by staying in bed all day, sleeping and eating chicken noodle soup. Unfortunately, though, I’m an adult and I had to go to work. While I would have enjoyed a nice day sitting at a desk, yesterday found me running cable, crawling around on the floor and reaching behind desks. I didn’t really want to pay attention to the warning signs.
I didn’t really pay attention to the warning signs for my physical health and all too often I treat the warning signs for my spiritual health the same way.
Most of us probably have the same warning signs when we’re getting sick: more tired than normal, perhaps a cough or an achy body. There’s probably a lot more variation, though, when it comes to the warning signs for our spiritual health.
I know that when my spiritual health is starting to falter I tend to have a shorter temper. I also don’t sleep as well and find myself less interested in the well being of those around me. These warning signs will pop up when my spiritual health is failing but, more often than not, I simply ignore them.
God has hardwired us to experience warning signs when we’re starting to drift from him. He doesn’t want us to get too far off course, which is why he gives us little warning signs. Those warning signs can only make a difference, though, if we actually listen to them. If we just ignore them like we do a sore throat or a check engine light, then we’re going to end up far from God.
The worst part about ignoring the warning signs is that hindsight is 20/20. After we’ve blow through them, ended up far from God and made the decision to repent, we can see how God put warning signs on our paths to help guide us. We think to ourselves, “If only I had paid attention to that sign or that sign or that other sign, then things could have been different.”
Our spiritual warning signs may not be as clear as a sore throat, but we still need to recognize them. God has too much to do in our lives to let them get derailed because we’re too stubborn to recognize the warning signs he gives us. Making a small course correction at the first sign of trouble is a lot easier than completely overhauling our lives when we’ve been off the path for too long.
What are your spiritual warning signs?