I was literally running on fumes.
I just needed enough fuel to get home.
I had $3 in change left from tips.
Gas in 1987 was around $1.08 a gallon.
I coasted into the gas station and put enough in my tank to get to the next place.
And so would begin a pattern that I would carry into adulthood.
Running on fumes.
Why is it that we attach a badge of honor to doing so much on so little?
I used to believe that existing on Diet Coke and Doritos with little sleep gave me some type of Superwoman status.
As I got older, I got smarter.
I upgraded to a Skinny Vanilla Latte and a Protein Bar.
I would fill my tank with just enough fuel to move onto the next task.
Chauffeuring the kids to practice, taking parents to doctor’s appointments, working, grocery shopping, heading the PTA, going to this committee meeting and that committee meeting.
My friends would joke that I never ate and stacked my schedule.
Maybe your schedule sounds something like this.
And so I coasted into my home each night, running on fumes.
I would never stop to completely fill my tank, literally or figuratively.
My girlfriend in faith, Dawn put it this way:
“You cannot fill a moving car with gas. You need to turn it off.”
Sisters, I promise you there is no medal at the end of the day when you are running on an empty tank.
There is just exhaustion and an empty tank.
And you cannot continue to give if you are running on empty.
That is not the way that God intended us to live.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10
Just like a moving car cannot be filled with gas, we cannot be filled if we are in constant motion.
My schedule was filled with good things, but I was never taking the time to fill my own tank.
I love my Skinny Vanilla Latte, but I need more.
His word provides that fuel that we need so that we are not simply coasting from day to day.
“For it was I, the Lord your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide and I will fill it with good things.” Psalm 81:10
“He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!” Psalm 103:5
“And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with love.” Romans 5:5
Busyness is the tool that is used to keep us from filling our tanks completely.
We believe that we can go a little further or take on one more task based on our own strength.
But we deceive ourselves.
We are simply coasting.
I am tired of running on fumes. Are you?
The price of His fuel is the same as it was in 1987.
It is always free.
Stop the car. Fill up.
“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
“I can’t go with you,” I said to my oldest son.
Jonathan was struggling being away from me, heading into the 2 year old class at pre-school.
My heart was in my throat.
I knew that God was watching over him, but that did not stop my tears from falling.
I wanted him to have something that he could hold onto when I was not in his sights.
The concept of carrying Jesus in his heart seemed a bit too much for him to grasp at this tender age.
So I sent a Jesus he could carry with him instead.
His own personal Jesus.
Now if you are in my age bracket and a music fan, you will understand why some of my girlfriends found this amusing.
When looking for anything that would give him comfort, I came across this plush Nativity set.
If I am being completely honest, it was really Joseph I sent with my son, not Jesus.
Desperate moms take desperate measures.
So I packed Joseph, I mean Jesus, in his tiny backpack to remind him that Jesus was with him even when I was not.
It gave me some comfort as well.
That was 16 years ago.
Graduation is a month away, with college right around the corner.
“I can’t go with you,” I say to myself.
I am struggling at the thought of being away from him. He is going where I cannot follow.
My heart is in my throat once again.
I know that God will be watching over him, but that does not stop my tears from falling.
I need something to hold onto when he is no longer in my sights.
He grasps the concept of carrying Jesus in his heart now, and that gives me peace.
He has Him in his heart wherever he goes. And so do I.
So I will hold onto the promise that nothing can ever separate him from His love or mine.
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 8 : 38-39