Running out of Fuel

“In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there.” –Mark 1:35

It was a cold, dark morning. I had another 200 miles to go before reaching my final destination. Glancing at the fuel gauge, I’d say I was not going to make it. Well, I think I can make it to a town 40 miles away…maybe. So, in my early morning reasoning (which, I’m sorry to report, really isn’t all that great when it’s 4 a.m. on a cold winter morning), I pass an exit with a fuel station because it is not quite as easy to access, in hopes I make it to my intended fuel station…which is very conveniently located right off interstate.

I glance at the gauge again after passing that exit. Hmm…not sure that was a great idea. Well, there is still one more stop between here and my intended stop, but I’ve never tried that station and I’m not sure they carry #2 diesel. So, while unsure about my how far I can really go, I pass up that stop as well! Unfortunately, now I’m really nervous about ending up stalled on the side of the road because of my STUPIDITY, and I still have 12 miles to go. Not to mention it is freezing cold and very windy. Oh, and I’m pretty sure my husband’s phone is off because he’s still sleeping! So I couldn’t call him to reason with me after I end up stranded.

Super stressed out and worried about gliding to a stop short of the fuel station while I approach my intended exit, I am PRAYING that the fumes just help me get there. And…I made it! Whew. Okay, thank you Lord! I am not going to do that again! (Oh dear, how many times have I said that before?!?)

As I drove away from the station after that stressful debacle, I got to thinking…how many times have I told myself that line before: “Boy, I’m not going to do that again!”? It is just one of many phrases that tends to pop up in life when repeat a mistake for a second, third…maybe even fourth…time.

What’s more, how many times do I repeat that mistake in my walk with the Lord? I get so busy working or involved with my day-to-day activities that I forget to pay attention and take the time to spend with Jesus: reading His Word, praying, listening, obeying.

“Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving; praying at the same time for us as well, that God will open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ, for which I have also been imprisoned; that I may make it clear in the way I ought to speak.”-Colossians 4:2-4

task listI work at one task, take a glance at my long list of to-dos or people to spend time with and think to myself, “Well, if I can just finish those I know then I’ll have some time to spend with the Lord” or maybe even, “Well, I’ll read just a chapter before bed tonight because it is kind of late, but I’ll read more and have a longer prayer tomorrow because I’ll probably have more time then.”

Eventually, I find myself rationalizing away the time I really need to spend with Jesus, and in a pickle just like the car fueling situation I found myself in that morning. Little things in life seem to become more stressful and I’m not as at peace with the blessings God has given me. My fuel gauge is dipping into “E” and I’m not prepared for the next section of road ahead of me.

When I don’t spend time with Him, how can I refuel?

Wow. That little tidbit from the Lord hit me hard. Talk about going deep at 4 a.m.!

“I will meditate on all Your work and muse on Your deeds.” –Psalm 77:12

Even with all the driving I do, sometimes it is hard to focus on talking with the Lord because I am a bit sleep deprived. But is that really an excuse? Shouldn’t I be seeking Him no matter what situation I am in? Ah…the answer here is a resounding YES. So, I now find myself praying that He forgives me when I try to hold a conversation with Him when my sleepy demeanor and terrible memory during all those early morning drives and days when my odd sleep schedule catches up with my already short attention span. Because in the end, those really are not excuses for failing to spend time with my most valuable friend.

“…and Azariah went out to met Asa and said to him, ‘Listen to me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: the Lord is with you when you are with Him. And if you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you. For many days Israel was without the true God and without a teaching priest and without law. But in their distress they turned to the Lord God of Israel, and they sought Him, and He let them find Him.” -2 Chronicles 14:2-4

In the end, after grabbing my receipt and looking at how many gallons I filled up, I guess I didn’t cut it as close as I originally thought. I still had a ways to go. However, in the winter where I live, it’s not wise to drive very far on less than a half tank of fuel. In the future, I will try to be wiser…

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