Remember the song by Jackson Browne, Running On Empty? The haunting lyrics “Running on, running on empty; Running on, running blind; Running on, running into the sun; But I’m running behind” just sort of resonate with most of society today, don’t they? Running on, and on and still running behind! Ever feel like that? Like no matter how fast you go you can’t let up, keep up or even catch up. Run to work, run home, run to the store, run the kids here, run the kids there, fix the dinner, do the laundry, wash the dishes, put the kids
to bed, then collapse into your own bed exhausted only to get up early the next day to do it all again. And we wonder why most people are running short on patience! If you just drive down the road for five seconds in other traffic I’m sure you know exactly what I mean! I find myself getting impatient if I have to wait longer than 2 minutes at the drive-thru! Anyone else? All symptoms of too much to do and not enough time to do it! The world we live in today!
Yet I wonder, does it have to be this way? I mean, can’t we choose to slow down a little?
What if we choose to stop burning the candle at both ends? Let’s face it, the wicks will eventually meet and then you will have no candle left to burn! What then? Drink more coffee and push harder to get through the day? Live life with a short temper with everyone you’re around? Is this truly God’s plan for our lives? To live like we are all in a rat-race and when we get to the cheese, we gobble it up without savoring the prize and race onto the next quest or the next item on the itinerary not even enjoying a moment as we zip along?
Even Jesus, God in the flesh, took time for himself, went off alone to pray. “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” (Luke 5:15 NIV) I mean, if there was ever anyone on this earth who one would think had an endless supply of energy and deep-down grit, it would be the Son of God, right? But as He was in human flesh, He grew weary like you and I do and so Jesus would seek a place to spend time alone, praying, refueling so He could continue with his work. Why do we think we can get away with anything less?
Do you take time to refuel? Spend time taking care of you? Or do you believe you simply don’t have the time? One thing that helped me many years ago was when I heard a fairly popular and well-respected Bible teacher challenge the audience to make a list. A list of everything you do, don’t leave anything out! Then really look at that list. Closely! What is on there that you can eliminate? Surely there is something! Doing something out of obligation or because you were guilted into it? Can’t say no? They are the first to go! Scratch them off the list!
The more conscious you are of your list, the easier it becomes to say “no” to things you don’t want on your list and maybe you begin to see the importance of taking time for yourself. You may still feel like you’re in a rat-race, but I hope you will no longer feel like you’re running on empty and that you find some moments to treasure as you refuel on a regular basis!