Running on empty

I am one of those annoying drivers who does not sense a state of urgency as my car’s petrol tank starts ending towards the ‘E’ side of the petrol gauge.

There have been times when I may have pushed my vehicle to the limits of sensible behaviour by putting off filling up despite lights and dings alerting me to imminent fuel reserves being completely depleted. I haven’t actually run out of petrol, but I believe I have come incredibly close on a couple of occasions.

I am aware that this practice is not the best for the longevity of my engine, and it’s not necessarily a deliberate action (or lack of it) on my part. It is more that I forget to do it, or I find the whole petrol station experience tiresome and inconvenient so I put it off.

Yesterday I discovered what it might be like to be placed in the position of trying to power on when your fuel tank is on empty. I headed off to participate in my usual Saturday morning practice of going to our local parkrun – a free, timed 5km run, jog or walk activity held in communities across the world. Lately I am able to jog every step of the course without too much difficulty but yesterday was another story.

You see, the night before had a perfect storm of circumstances that meant the only food item I consumed for ‘dinner’ was a doughnut at the airport at 8pm while I was waiting to be collected to travel home. Not a deliberate action, but one impacted by the happenings of the world around me, and in the end complacency to try and find a better option.

At Parkrun I discovered that my doughnut from the night before only managed to fuel my exertion for the first 2km before literally feeling like my fuel tank had been drained of anything useful to keep me moving. I spent the rest of the activity making my body work harder than it should to reach the final destination. While I managed to

How often in life do we forge forward with something, expecting to be able to keep going without the appropriate fuel loading? It could be a lack of preparation for work, study or physical activity. Every time it will have consequences, sometimes immediately and other times a bit later, when you are part way through and really needing to call upon the resources you don’t have.

Even more dangerous is trying to navigate the Christian life journey with only the barest of levels of sustenance to help you survive. Plenty of times, if your spiritual gauge is bordering on ‘E’, you will find yourself facing situations without access to the divine strength and sustenance to get you through well.

This is an important truth – while you might get through, when you are running on empty you are arriving at the destination in a diminished capacity. How much better to arrive knowing you have more resources at your disposal should you need to face an unexpected detour that requires a little extra effort.

Can I encourage you to make sure you are not running through any area of life on empty? The short term gain is not worth the longer term consequences. Seek out opportunities to fill up your tank.

Be blessed.

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