Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Running On Empty


Genesis 2:2, "On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work."

I looked at my fuel gauge and saw that my gas tank was nearing empty. I needed to fill up my car, but by the end of the day, it didn't feel like much of a priority. As I thought about my car's fuel getting close to "E", I realized that wasn't the only thing running on empty in my life.

My schedule has been anything but boring. I've had work, volunteer training, church, chores, and day to day life that has taken up a lot of time. Even my days off from my job are filled with catching up on things around the house and trying to reconnect with loved ones I haven't had much time with. When I have a moment of down time, I remember that my room needs to be cleaned, or I think of the Christmas gifts I'd like to finish for so and so.

As I look at my life, I see that there are so many things to be thankful for, but something else has been very apparent to me as well: I'm running on empty.

I've been doing my best to keep going. I rationalize: Just one more hour of work... one more week before having a day off... one more month before life slows down. I've watched the gauge on my life go from full to empty, and I've found myself thinking, "Something has to give... but what?"

It's not like I can wake up in the morning and think, "I'll just not show up at work today." I can't look at my birds and tell them, "Sorry it's been over a week since I cleaned your cage last, but I'm tired, and you're going to have to hang in there a little longer." There are commitments and priorities that must take place, but I'm finding that I can't do it all.

Last night I was so run down I actually thought I was going to end up being sick with a cold. My ears started to hurt, and my eyes were all blood shot.

As I have been running through life like a chicken with its head cut off, I've thought that this surely isn't how I should be living. Something that has been on my mind a lot is the importance of taking a day of rest.

With my body run down and my emotions hanging on by a thread, God gently reminded me about His instruction to keep the Sabbath day holy. Okay, it's not just an instruction... it's a command.

Why would God command us to take a day of rest? Could it possibly be because He knows that it doesn't always come naturally to us?

Sometimes when I read about creation, I get to Genesis 2:2 and wonder if God really needed to rest or if He simply rested so we would have an example to follow. Did He rest for Him, or did He rest for us?

I still don't know what to do about modifying my schedule so it isn't so crazy. Quite honestly when I think about what to cut out of it, I just don't know. However, what I do know is that I need to take a day of rest. I can't keep up at this pace, or I'm going to end up lying on the couch with antibiotics because of my immunity being so run down.

Are you running on empty?

What I do know from having a car is that when my car starts to run on empty I have two choices: I can either not fill up my vehicle and wind up having it stall on the side of the road, or I can find a gas station and fill it back up. The same is true for us. We can't keep running on "E". Maybe your life's "gas light" has come on just as mine has and you're realizing, "Either I fill up, or I stall."

Just as we cannot ignore that light if we want to keep driving, we also can't ignore that light if we want to keep moving in life.

Dear Heavenly Father,

I've found myself running on empty, and I'm finding that I can't run on "E" much longer. Something has to give for me to be able to have a better balance in my life. Right now, I just don't know what that is. Please help me find out where to fill up. You've already been impressing on my heart the importance of taking a day of rest. When tempted to not obey that command, help me remember the importance of taking a day of rest so that I don't find myself running on empty. In Jesus' Name.

Amen.