Out of Kilter? No Worries

Out of Kilter? No Worries

out of kilter

I don’t remember when I first heard the expression “I am so out of kilter.” I am sure I was a kid when I did. But I have always known what it means. I am sure you have as well. It is an expression that means things are out of order or chaotic in your life.

I will not bore you with the details but at the time of this writing things in my life are certainly out of kilter. And trust me, it is no fun dealing with the uncertainty and confusion related to times of kilter imbalance. But I have a firm grasp on the situation and I know that soon “kilterness’ will return.

I have made it a habit in my life to watch people. When I was a full-time pastor I needed illustrations for sermons and people gave me the best ones. I never used people as illustrations that members of the church knew because that would have been awkward. But as I went through my daily affairs people I encountered just tended to provide me with the best stuff.

So because I watch people I see how they respond and/or react to various situations and circumstances. I have seen countless people who were out of kilter. People typically react in one of the following ways:


Obviously these are all negative responses or reactions. They never help and usually make things worse. So, why go there?

Although I am not the world’s foremost expert on overcoming out-of-kilterness, I do have a few suggestions that I believe can help in bringing order back to your life. Without further ado, here they are:


I have learned that trying to rush through the day and get things reorganized is usually a mistake. When things are out of order we can make poor decisions if we don’t slow down and really look at what is going on. So, STOP.

Just park yourself for a few moments and stop rushing. Drink a relaxing beverage. Take a walk. Thumb a magazine. Vacuum the car. Do something other than the task that you are trying to re-kilterize. I know that you will argue that you don’t have time to stop. But you really do. You don’t have time NOT to stop. Think of the added price of time you will pay if you make poor decisions by rushing.

Slowing down and stopping simply brings a sense of peace and calmness.


out of kilter

Think about the chaos of the situation. Take the time, perhaps while you are stopped, to really think through the facts and details. Then jot down on paper a list of the things that seem to be out of kilter. Usually looking at a list of the things that you think are so important helps you see that each item is actually quite manageable.

As you see the list you will likely chuckle at yourself for allowing such manageable tasks to get to you. For instance, if the car has to be taken to the shop for repair and this is the worst possible time to be without a car, remember, the rental place is always willing to help. Maybe the auto shop has a loaner car. You see, no big deal. This is just one example of how solutions to unkilterness are easily discoverable.

Just reflect.

Get Perspective

out of kilter

Is it really that bad? Really? Do you have to get frustrated and angry? Is there really a need for worry and stress? Really? I don’t think so. I have seen people lose their jobs and immediately hit panic mode. I understand why. It is frightening to be unemployed. There are obligations that only income can meet. But does panicking get the job? Of course not.

When things get out of kilter it is best to try to keep it all in perspective. If you are honest then you know you have seen things like this before. Throughout the course of your life you have had times when things were chaotic and disconcerting. But you survived it. You saw it through. You lived to see another day. You may have received a few scars or even lost something, but you survived. You will again.


Just start the day with prayer. Don’t plead with God to fix the problems. Ask the Lord to show you why you are in this state of unkilterness. We rarely consider that the Lord just may have us at a place so He can teach us something or make us stronger vessels and servants for Him. James 1: 2-4 reads:

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

This simply means that trials and difficulties can make us better and stronger. So, don’t ask God to fix the problems. Ask Him to use the situation for His purposes. You know, He may just have you right where He wants you right now.


Trust your instincts. You have been you for some time now. You know you better than anyone on this earth. Yes, get advice from caring friends and family members, but don’t assume that what they suggest is the right solution for you. As you listen to their ideas your own creative flow kicks in. At least that is what happens to me. When a caring friend is giving advice I do listen. But I also have an internal conversation in my mind. I think, “that won’t work but THIS will.” My friend’s ideas are simply simulating my own. Trust those thoughts. Trust yourself. Trust your own judgment.

I hope these thoughts have been a blessing to you.

Tony Guthrie

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