Friday, August 19, 2011

Out of Gas

merit of idea
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I know better. I really do.  My husband has taught me well. He always encourages me to fill up my gas tank when I get to 1/4 tank, NOT when my light signaling empty comes on.  

But I did it anyway.  I let my gas tank get to E, my light came on, and I continued to drive.  Don't judge me. You know you have done it, too.  I saw the light come on, I recognized it, and I quickly forgot about it as I carried on my "dailyness."

When my car cut off in the middle of the road and all I could do was try to coast into a nearby yard (literally!), I remembered. And I had just passed a gas station, but I was talking on my cell phone and didn't notice. What do I do? I called my neighbor who was a few cars behind me and to make a LONG story SHORT, my neglect of my fuel tank was responsible for ruining the mornings of my neighbor, the other four people who tried to help me, and my dad who finally brought enough gas to make my fuel injector connect. 

I didn't tell you that I had planned on taking a sabbatical day of prayer on this crazy morning of an empty fuel tank, did I?  My pastor encourages each of us on equipping ministry staff at Christ Community Church to take one day each month just to pray and be in God's presence.  I wish I could say that I was faithful to this every month. And though I spend some quiet time each day with the Lord, I find it difficult to cast everything aside to spend a day or even a few hours with Him.  My last sabbatical day noted in my journal:  May. Three months ago. 

I know better. I really do. My Jesus has taught me well.  He always encourages me to fill up on my "spiritual" gas tank, before I hit EMPTY.

But I do it anyway. I let my spiritual gas tank get to empty, and I continue to walk, serve, minister, write, speak, teach, and lead. Don't judge me, you know you have done it, too. God prompts me through His gentle nudges and His calling me to come away with Him. I recognize Him and His nudges and calling, but I quickly forget about it as I carry on my "dailyness."

I finally made it home yesterday morning with a full tank of gas, thanks to a few gracious people giving up their time and energy. And though I didn't get the full five hours with God I was hoping and planning for, I did get two hours alone with Him to rest in His presence, pray for direction, and listen to Him telling me how much He loves me. He didn't condemn me for not letting my spiritual gas tank get so low. But the special, sweet time with Him reminded me of how much I absolutely need Him to fill me up so that I can do what He has called me to do. 

What about you? Running on empty? Need to fill up on the sweet presence of God? Don't let the "dailyness" of this world allow you to forget your need to just "be" with Jesus. 

Practical application: Maybe a day away with God sounds great, but it is impossible for you.  How about trying to plan a couple of hours a month to listen to God?  Even 30 minutes a day?  The point is to make Him a priority so that we don't run on empty when we are serving Him and ministering to others.  

Would love to hear your comments! And if you subscribe via email, don't forget to click the link to return to the actual blog to comment. Otherwise, I don't ever hear what you have to say.  

Unwrap the gift of His sweet presence today,



Jennifer K. Hale said...

Whew. I'm feeling like the big "E" light is glowing brightly in my life this week. TGIF! One of the other things I think God loves for us to do, besides spend copious amounts of time in His presence, is take a nap. :) God time+nap= Full tank.

Great post, Kelli!

Kathryn said...

OH! MY! This is a very good post and one, I'm afraid, that certainly reminded me of a few things!

Glad you got BOTH your gas tanks filled :)

Jennifer said...

I had been in a season of "empty-ness," but God has been doing a "new thing" (as DC Talk said back in the early 90s). He has given me a hunger for His presence and a hunger to go much deeper with Him. I even want to go and spend a week at a monastary (I know, yeah, like that's gonna happen in the near future). I have SO enjoyed spending time with Him that I crave more!

In my study it says that we Know God by experience. We experience God through more opportunity to experience Him. So the answer to my question "How do I KNOW you, Lord?" is be constantly in contact with Him.

Yikes, I've gotten carried away, haven't I?! Anyhoo, great post!

Leebird said...

I've been running on fumes. Thanks for the reminder to take time to just BE with Him. Glad to connect with you on twitter! :)


Jennifer said...

Why do we do this? Ignore the signs and plow ahead? I'm reading the comments and feeling normal, but also sad. Quiet time? Bible study? Sometimes it feels like one more to-do. Thank you for gentle reminders.

Kelli Williams Wommack said...

To all of you that have commented, thank you! You know, I don't like being totally vulnerable about the fact that sometimes I allow myself to run on empty. But as these comments show, it is not an uncommon scenario. Though it is sad, Jennifer, I think it is a step in the right direction to realize our need for more of Him. He always desires more time with us. And He is always there waiting...
Praying for all of you this week by name...Jennifer H., Jennifer W. Jennifer, (wow, 3 Jennifers), Kathryn, and LeeBird. said...

Hi, saw you on christian bloggers, thought I would check out your site, this is a good post, sometimes I too feel as though I'm running on empty, we get weary in well doing! but we go to the Lord daily and filled back up! visit my blog site and leave a comment please!

T.C. said...

One comment pointed out it feels like one more thing 'to do'. if it get's to that point I think you've missed it, God doesn't want us to spend time with Him out of duty. With His Holy Spirit at work in us, we will long to spend time with Him.......that doesn't mean from time to time we won't slip back again and need re-fueling. Just be wary of making it a 'to do'.

Shannon Milholland said...

Can soooo relate to this. In fact I'm going to link up a post I wrote about my poor gas filling behavior. We are indeed soul sisters. Let's pull over together today and fill up on Christ!

Brent said...

So true...and beautifully stated. As you know, just a couple of months ago I finally began to come up out of a very dry, 'empty' time in my life. I know quite well of what you are writing. I'm not a reader by nature, nor do I enjoy being still for long. But in the last few months I have read more books and spent more solitude time with God than I can remember ever happening.
Thanks for the encouraging reminder Kelli. And hey...don't miss the next gas station!

Jenifer said...

"fill up on my "spiritual" gas tank, before I hit EMPTY." Love that!!

Julie Gillies said...

Hi Kelli,

I will never forget my hubby, 2 young kids and I being on the road 400 miles from home when our car suddenly died on the freeway. We had run out of gas. My hubby is the daredevil and loves to see how far he can go without filling up. I tend to be the opposite--the instant I see it's down to 1/4 tank, I zoom right into the nearest gas station. And though I aim for regular fill-up times with the Lord, I sometimes think "I'll just do this first..." and then the entire day goes by.

Thanks for this encouraging reminder, Kelli!

Sandra Heska King said...

Letting my gas tank get down to E without freaking out? That's my husband, not me.

But running with my spiritual tank empty? Guilty.

And others suffer because of it.