At least once a month, I get reprimanded. Not for being a bad wife and mother, or for burning dinner or not meeting a deadline, but for running on empty.

It’s my husband’s pet peeve, and I honestly don’t do it on purpose, but I forget to fill my car with gas. Regularly. To the point where it’s actually gone well below the lowest little mark before the “E”, and there are no miles left on my handy-dandy screen, just a row of lovely stars. I think that means I’m running pretty much on fresh air…

I make excuses like, “It’s not on my radar” because it’s actually not. I get in my car and go- I’m not one to admire the dashboard and check stuff. In fact, I am known for totally ignoring my very best friends while driving along- I get in a thought-vacuum of some sort. You can honk at me all you want- I probably won’t notice you. I do apologize!

I am so “vehically-challanged” I never consider the inner workings of my ride- until my husband points out (again) that running on empty is HARMFUL for the car. Apparently, it can cause sediment to clog the fuel filter, the fuel pump to become exposed and overheat, and even effect the brakes and power steering. And yes, I absolutely Googled all that!!

Makes me ponder what other areas of my life I tend to run on empty, and how harmful it could be. Where do I need to top up the tank?

Physically? If I don’t eat for 4 hours I get light-headed and feel nauseous- my internal fuel gauge right there. If I choose to ignore it, I faint- as proved in a shoe store last year when I had completely neglected my empty gauge. “Shop ‘til you drop” took on a whole new meaning for me that day!

Emotionally? I’m not a crier, but it seems that if I don’t have at least a little sniffle over something once in a while, the banks of my tear ducts will burst at highly inopportune moments, and that’s just plain awkward. My gauge? When I start filling up while watching Dancing With the Stars- a sure sign I need to have a good cry over something worthwhile. And let’s face it, there’s plenty to cry about in this world.

Spiritually? Ah. Yes, well this one’s interesting. How often have I found myself running on empty in my spiritual life? Quite often. And whose fault is that? All mine. Why isn’t it on my radar constantly? Because I’m busy driving my life around. Is it harmful? Oh yes, to me and to others….

How can I call myself  a Christian when I’m not living a Christ-filled life? I’m jaded, critical, impatient and unloving. I’ve allowed my tank to run dry- I’m running on fresh air, in my own strength. Ever feel like that? Yet the gas pump to draw from is so incredibly deep- Living Water that will never run dry:

“If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Rivers of living water will brim and spill out of the depths of anyone who believes in me…” (John 7:38 The Message)

Digging into God’s Word, spending time with the Lord and drawing our strength from HIM- that’ll keep us running the race. No matter how crazy-busy life gets, we can’t neglect a REGULAR top- up from Him.

I shall endeavor to be a better “filler”. To keep my body, my emotions, and my spiritual life fed and watered. Will you?

And I’ll even keep my gas tank filled.

When I remember…