So we’re toodling along (yes, that’s a word in my world) down the road in the big black Tahoe. I’ve just come from a meal out with my husband and daughter on her 17th birthday. This is after a full morning of getting Granny up out of bed, fed breakfast, getting to ensemble practice before church, morning worship services, getting Granny back home, fed, and cleaned up, then out for a rare activity with *all* the kids. So yes, it’s been a busy day.
Now it’s 5 in the afternoon, we have an hour (or so) to get home, get Granny cleaned up again, put to bed, pick up a kid, get back in the car and get back to church for evening service and canvassing the neighborhoods with door hangers for Open Sunday in a couple weeks.
The problem? The Tahoe’s hungry-for-gas light had been on all day. I knew it needed gas, but I figured it could go just a little farther. I really didn’t have time, and then when I’d had time, I’d frankly forgotten to visit the gas station. We had money with us. We had had a little time earlier in the day, and like I said, we hadn’t gotten to it. So now, when crunch time came…putter, putter, stutter, stop!
The Tahoe, a big, black, fits-all-8-of-us-and-a-friend driving machine simply stopped moving. You know, it takes a ton of muscle to turn a vehicle like that when the power steering is not working, but I pulled it safely into a parking lot and sat, waiting for my father-in-law to show up with help.
I go-go-go, thinking I can pull just one more ounce of strength before I collapse, not thinking I have time recharge at God’s ‘gas station’. Then, when the crunch is really on, I sputter to a stop, my energy depleted, my patience gone, my motivation having taken a vacation. At that time I become just like that Tahoe – utterly useless no matter how many I’m able to carry, and really hard to move to a safe location. While I wait for a recharge then, I’m stuck in a parking lot of life, shoved off to the side of the road just waiting; when all along, a refill at the gas station was waiting for me.
Unlike what keeps our cars running, God’s gas station offers free refills. All I have to do is sit down and open my Bible. Close my eyes and talk to God – let Him refresh me, fill me with His energy and His motivations.
I can keep going all day and then some when I’m using God’s power to get God’s service done. And while it seems too simple to say that it just takes reading and meditating on God’s Word, and spending some time in prayer, it really IS just that simple. Simple, and yet something we tend too often to overlook. We don’t notice how far and how fast we’re going on our own until we’re nearly ready to collapse.
Let’s not get to that point. Keep your gas tank full!