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Being out of gas gets you nowhere

The morning is clear and there is no forecast of rain. I drink my second cup of coffee, a weekend indulgence, and make plans. There is an hour before breakfast. The game starts at 2 pm. I have time for a mow!

First, the pine cones. Living under the whisper of 50 plus pines, there is a price to pay for all the benefits I experience––the unending crop of cones on the lawn is too plentiful, and every chore outside begins with picking up or raking them. I give myself that hour before breakfast, put on my gloves, and head out with Lily at my heels. There is a cool breeze and the birds’ songs encourage. I wave to other early risers out and about and feel my breathing ease into the work. Before the call to the morning meal, I check off this chore. Done.

Later, my mowing shoes laced and my lawn cleared, I pull out the mower and decide where to begin. I notice the green stripes of the last mow still evident, and I determine to go the opposite direction this time. The birds are less vocal at midmorning and the breeze is a bit less with the sun’s rising; still, the day beckons outside work, and I can’t wait to begin. I pull the cord and listen for the motor’s hum. Nothing. I check the reservoir. No gas. I head back to the garage to retrieve my old metal gas can. Lifting it, I know immediately. Empty. I stretch backward, head raised to the clouds, and take a deep breath. Back inside, I grab keys, wallet, and phone. Off to the corner convenience store for gas.

Life has a way of redirecting set courses, even simple ones. While I do not relish this break in my momentum, one thing is sure.

If the grass will be mown, that gas tank must be filled. Being out of gas gets you nowhere.

We all find ourselves with an empty tank. Jesus himself needed time to fill up and be renewed. After mighty miracles such as feeding the thousands, Jesus paused to refresh. Before the awesome task of choosing His disciples, Jesus took time aside to pray. To reset after particularly heavy demands, He stepped back and rested, finding strength that only comes from intimate connection to the Father in heaven.

Unlike Jesus, I have the tendency to selfishly bulldoze along, under my own power, feeling no need to withdraw to seek God’s counsel. Or His peace. Just as He provides that sunny day to inspire and those birds’ songs to cheer, He gives opportunities to pause, shut down from the headlong rush to do, to complete, to check off items on that list. In the busyness of life, I am guilty of neglecting quiet time with Him.

To and from the gas station, I travel with the window down and watch the landscape pass. The breeze brushes across my face, I begin to slow down and enjoy the enforced solitude. The songs I’m streaming call me to prayer, and before I know it, I refuel with what I really need. I begin counting blessings, loved ones’ needs surface in my mind and I intercede, I turn over problems and difficulties I’ve been struggling to solve, and then, I drive in silence, listening to the Spirit within, going from empty to full. By the time I return home, I am ready to complete the mowing and so much more.

Homeword article is written by Jim Edminson, Charity & Children Editor

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