Friday, May 30, 2008

Running on Empty

Over dinner with friends the other day, we engaged in a somewhat lively discussion about how low we let the gas gage go in our cars before filling up. I have to say I was at the mercy of my husband, who did not hesitate to point out that I am literally obsessive when it comes to filling up.
It's true.
I know that I can probably get to where I need to go and back without running out of gas if the gage reads below a quarter tank. But when that red light comes on, I start sweating.
My husband on the other hand would drive the entire island three times over before stopping for gas.
This habit becomes excruciating for me when we travel, especially if we're on long stretches of highway and don't know the area.
I need the security of knowing that we're going to arrive at our destination safely, without running out of gas.
I'm sure the psychoanalysts among us would have a field day with this. I've lived with myself for 42 years now and I don't need a shrink to tell me I prefer living in a safe and secure world where I don't have to worry about what's coming around the next corner. But life isn't like that, is it?
We don't get to read the full synopsis and decide whether or not we like the story.
We have to put one foot in front of the other and go...whether we like it or not.
And sometimes we do run on empty.
Sometimes its all we can do to go through the motions and get through the day.
In fact, I feel like I'm running on empty right now.
I'm in the middle of rewriting a story that's very close to my heart. It's painful. There are parts of it I don't want to write. Yet I know I must. Because you see, in the midst of that pain, God drew near. He held me close and He told me it was all going to work out. I didn't know how or when, and I confess there were days when I didn't believe Him.
But God doesn't break His promises.
He brought me through that time and showered me with more blessings than I could ever have imagined receiving. He worked in miraculous ways despite my meager faith.

As I sit here this morning, pondering my inability to drive on my car on empty, I'm receiving a gentle prod from my Father in heaven.
Why are you then satisfied to let your spiritual tank run on empty?
But its true. I don't make enough time in my week for worship, prayer or getting in the Word.
I'm all about running on empty because I know that God will come along and bail me out when I run out of gas.
Sure, He would, but why should He have to?
And aren't I depriving myself of the joy of being in HIs presence, of feeling Him literally filling me up?

Matthew 5:6 says, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled."
There are many other promises in Scripture of how God fills all our needs, and fills our cups to overflowing.

If I'm running on empty, it's only because I don't choose to stop and fill up.
So if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go do that right now.
I pray you will do the same.


cballan said...

Amazing. Beautiful. Convicting.
Thank you.

Erica said...

So weird, I just blogged a few minutes ago and used the exact same metaphor!

Robin Johns Grant said...

Great analogy! I definitely need to heed this advice, since I typically allow myself to run on spiritual fumes.