Running on Empty
by Shellie Rushing Tomlinson
My parents are big on the importance of keeping a vehicle’s gas tank as close to full as possible. This could be because they’ve always lived in the country where there isn’t a gas station on every corner, or any corner for that matter. And it may just be a generational thing, but to my parents’ way of thinking, when the needle gets anywhere around the half-way mark, a person is running on empty.
Papa and Mama have plenty of reasons for keeping your gas tank full, but the number one reason to stay topped off is to be prepared in case of an emergency. They have done their dead level best to transfer this type of foresight to me. “What if you have to go to the hospital in the middle of the night, hmm? Ever thought about that, Shellie Charlene?”
I of course rarely, if ever, think about things like that. I’m not at all proud of that trait, mind you. My goal is to grow up to be a plan-ahead type of person, but so far it just isn’t happening. Fortunately, my beloved hubby is on the same page with the folks. He’s good about reminding me to top off my tank too, largely because he knows how easy it would be for me to travel without giving fuel, or the lack of it, a second thought until it’s too late. Again, I’m not saying that’s a good thing. Everyone knows you can’t get where you’re going without fuel in the tank, right? Well, yes and no.
Most of us recognize the importance of fuel where our vehicles are concerned, but when it comes to our spirits, we’re slower to realize that we’re driving on empty. By and large, we the people are a malnourished bunch, emaciated and unaware that we’re hungry, starving even, for Life Himself. Our souls don’t hunger for religion; they hunger for reality.
One of my favorite promises in all of God’s Word is that He satisfies our longings and fills the hungry soul! Those are words to treasure. But . . . what if we don’t hunger for God? What then? Are we destined to live lukewarm lives? No! Thank the good Lord, no!
We really can learn to feast on the Bread of Heaven instead of filling ourselves on all that’s passing away. I know this to be true because God is doing it for me, and it started by my admitting to Him what He already knew: I didn’t hunger for Him, but I wanted to hunger for Him. We began our love affair there.
How tragic it is for us to run on empty when we’ve been given the privilege of keeping our tanks topped off by nourishing ourselves in His Word and in His presence. Come on, y’all. Let’s live full to overflowing. Let’s eat!
“Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money come, buy and eat.” Isaiah 55:1
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