The Ultimate Need

I’ve been “considering” publishing a blog on a regular basis for as long as blogs have been around. Year after year I kept telling myself this is the year I’m going to start blogging consistently. Year after year, this crazy little idea of mine has also taken a backseat to other priorities in my life.

Recently I was telling my wife that this is really going to be the year that I start blogging. She looked at me and smiled as to say: “Sure baby, I’ll believe it when I see it. Love you.”

But then she did the unexpected and she actually gave me some of the most insightful feedback any husband could ever ask for. No sir! She did not leave me hanging and she did not walk away knowing that I wasn’t going to really start blogging this year.

My wife sat next to me and said: “Honey, you’re an amazing man and I’ve seen you do some great things. But you never do anything unless there is an ULTIMATE need for you to do it.”

That hit me like a ton of bricks. It really got me thinking.

She proceeded to say that on the things that I do really well I always give more than 100% of myself towards their achievement. Everything else gets neglected or gets filed in the “procrastination” folder.

Many so-called experts may say that’s a good thing, but many common-sensers would also argue that could also be a bad thing.

You see, one’s life consists of many different areas and there are many different people that surround you in all those areas. If you only focus on one or a few areas, you eventually not only neglect the other areas of your life but you also neglect the people in those areas as well.

I don’t recall where exactly I read this, but many years ago (many many years ago) I read an article that painted this great picture about how life works. The article used a bicycle wheel as an analogy. The author said that your life as a whole is the wheel and each spoke on the wheel represents each area of your life. If one or more spokes were loose, the wheel will eventually wobble and life will feel like one long bumpy road. He also suggested if one regularly adjusted the tension on the spokes and kept the wheel balanced then life for the most part would be a better ride and one would be better prepared to handle those occasional rocks you bump into on the road. The main premise of the article was that the secret to not falling off the bike was keeping good maintenance and focusing on all the spokes of the wheel, not just a few.

This analogy stuck with me for years and I’ve always considered the following areas as the main spokes in my life:
– Spiritual (my Christian life)
– Health
– Family
– Business (Work)
– Education
– Financial
– Community

Every year (usually about a week or two before New Year’s Day) I always sit down with my journal and start reflecting and planning my goals for the following year around each of these areas. When I schedule things on my personal calendar I always tag the activity with one of the above categories. When I review my monthly and weekly goals throughout the year (Yes, I’m fanatical about that) I always try to ensure that each spoke has about the same amount of tension. This is not always the case but at least I’m aware of where adjustments are needed.

Family has always been the non-negotiable area for me. At least when it comes to being a Father. I’m not saying I ever was a perfect father but my girls have always counted on me when they needed me the most. On a side note, I’m on my second marriage now and I’m really gunning for the husband of the year award, but they jury is still out on that one. 😉

Going back to my wife and that wonderful conversation we recently had… she also helped me come to another huge realization. She also said to me: “Why don’t you focus more on God? You know he has all the answers to everything.”

I’ve always told those that know me well that my spiritual life has been one heck of a rollercoaster ride. (I can ride many blog posts on this topic alone and perhaps I will.) But when my wife told me this I also started to realize something else. Something that I have misunderstood for as long as I’ve been calling myself a Christian.

My spiritual life is not just another spoke in the wheel. My faith, my belief in Jesus as our ultimate savior is not just another spoke in the wheel. This is indeed the “Hub” of the wheel to which all the other spokes are connected to. This makes so much sense to me now.

As a true believer, Christ should always be at the center of everything in my life. As I’ve gotten older and as I have grown more in my faith, I’ve also been realizing more and more that God call us to be leaders. Not just leaders in our work, but leaders in all the areas of our life. For our families, for our communities, and for everyone that crosses our daily paths.

When serving others out of true love and compassion the ultimate need in our lives becomes all the little things that we do that can help impact the life of others. Little things like writing a blog post that can potentially reach others that need to apply the bicycle-wheel-spoke-hub analogy to their own lives.

When you let your heart guide you and when you put Christ in the center of your life things that would have otherwise ended in the procrastination file all of the sudden become something you finally got around to doing.

Philippians 4:13 also reminds us that: “I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me.”

You can adjust your spokes all you want but without a strong wheel hub you may never reach your destination.

What’s one thing you’ve always wanted to do but kept getting kicked back to the bottom of your list? What’s your ultimate need?

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