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Circuit Breakers

Ann Spangler
Ann Spangler
2016 26 Apr

a woman holds her head in pain

Several years ago, when I was having the attic remodeled into an office, the carpenter doing the work discovered two inscriptions. One was on the brick chimney that transects the space. The other was on two-by-fours that had been hidden behind a wall of bead board. While the second one was signed by the builder, both inscriptions indicated that construction on the house had begun in July 1925.

Old houses are famous for their charm, even though living in them is not always a charming experience. Sometimes simple activities remind you of just how old they are. Take ironing, for instance. Whenever I forget to turn off the TV or the ceiling fan when plugging in the iron in an upstairs bedroom, the circuit breaker trips, shutting off the power. Though I think of it as an inconvenient interruption, the circuit breakers are providing an invaluable service, preventing me from overloading the electrical system, risking fire or even electrocution.

Likewise, in our own lives, God has placed natural circuit breakers that can alert us to the fact that we are on overload. Say, for instance, you are trying to get ahead at work and putting in loads of overtime. Or say you can’t give no for an answer when anyone asks you to do something. Or say you are spending every minute ferrying your children to activities so they won’t miss out. Eventually, your body will attempt to get you to slow down. Natural circuit breakers come in many forms, including headaches, fatigue, irritability, illness, and weight gain.

When these things begin to manifest, resist the temptation to brush them off as inconvenient interruptions. Instead, take the time to examine your life prayerfully, asking God to show you if your priorities are his priorities. If you sense the need to make course corrections, don’t delay. Your peace depends on paying attention to the natural circuit breakers that operate in every human life.