Yet, this alone, will not provide long term consistent returns if other issues are not addressed as well. In addition to slowing down, a driver needs to:
• Calibrate the truck’s computer system for more efficient fuel usage.
• Check the filters. If they are clogged with dirt and debris, the engine can’t breathe (yes, engines breathe!) and fuel efficiency will go down.
• Use only high grade tires that are properly inflated.
• Check to be sure the suspension is even, and that there is no shimmying in the steering.
• Add fuel treatments every time the fuel tanks are filled.
These are the foundational blocks that insure that the truck will sashay down the pavement stress free, without tension or shimmying, and without pulling to one side or the other. When the foundational pieces are in place and the driver slows down to 59.7, then 5.5 miles a gallon can rise up to a respectable 8.3 or higher. This translates into 700 or more miles that can be traveled on one tank of fuel. Again at $4.00 a gallon, that is $280.
I am often amazed at how similar truck life is to human life. When I’m overly stressed, cranky, out of sorts, excessively fatigued, or in some other way not performing to the best of my ability, I generally come to the conclusion that I need to do things differently. “I need to slow down,” I tell myself. So, I take a day off, get a few hours more sleep, try to avoid taking on more projects or responsibilities. That gives me a little relief, to be sure, but slowing down is not enough to settle my soul into smoothness again. If I want to get better soul mileage, there’s more to consider.
Are my filters clean? Over time, dirt and debris have a way of collecting in my soul. I feel clogged up and wonder why I find it so difficult to simply trudge through the day. If I clean out the blockages, my soul opens with freedom and breathes easily. Joy and lightness become more steady companions.
Are my tires in good shape and properly filled? The tires of my soul can weaken with the daily rigors of life. The tread thins and the air slowly seeps out, until I feel like I’m rumbling rather than rolling through my day. Checking the tightness and pressure in my soul, even giving it a complete overhaul, makes it possible for me to ride through life again with the Spirit of God – rather than my stress – animating me.
Is my suspension even? Or, am I shimmying as I steer through my day? The demands and struggles of daily life can leave me feeling distorted – as if I’m leaning too far in one direction, or as if some parts of my soul are crimped like a twisted garden hose. When my life is distorted, my soul is distorted too. If I take some time to straighten myself out, the ache of my soul disappears and I am ready again to face the busy thoroughfares of life.
What treatments am I adding to my day? Weeks can go by without my being aware of my soul at all, much less making sure that it receives all the nutrients it needs. When I add little infusions of grace; stillness, laughter, nature, and beauty to my day and to my soul, I feel as full as if I’ve eaten a feast after a 40 day fast.
Human life these days can feel like a steady sapping of energy and strength. The miles of life can leave me operating at a much lower efficiency level than creation intended. With a few soul tweaks, however, life becomes as exciting as that ride across the country in a Kenworth T660...