Written by Gary Taylor
My car sorta ran out of gas this morning. I say "sorta" because after it shuddered and stalled at the light, I got it started back up.
This occurred as I took Calleigh and Hannah to school. I mention that only because I figured if the car had to be pushed, I would need to do the pushing. And the steering. Funny how the threat of that much exercise can increase fervency in prayer.
I turned around to head back the opposite direction on Curtner, the closest gas station being behind me. It is a station I normally avoid because their gas is much more expensive than others around it.
My car shuddered again, but didn't stall out. I pulled up to the pump, literally with a sigh of relief (and a gasp at the cost of a gallon of gas).
Last week my soul ran out of gas.
I felt myself shudder and stall. My needle sagging on empty. I've followed Jesus long enough to know that I can't push and steer my own way through life. Not very far anyways.
So I turned around.
Refueling my soul always involves a turning around. It means heading back to the moments I drove past - the moments when I could have refueled but blindly chose to keep going instead.
I turned around by reviewing my day and my week. I reflected on "desolations" - those moments I talked about in last Sunday's sermon: moments where God had been present and active in my life, but I didn't recognize Him at the time.
I paid close attention to "consolations" - God-moments that tended to the dryness of my soul. I opened up and shared my struggles with a trusted friend. I directed my thoughts to a particular passage in the Bible. I went to bed early.
And I'll continue refueling later this week: A block of extended time in solitude, Scripture reading, and communing with God in creation. That day will include a literal sigh of relief, and a gasp as I reflect on how much Jesus was willing to pay so I can complete my journey and draw near to the Father.
Is your needle on the south side of half a tank? If so, turn around. Review your day and your week for consolations and desolations. PLAN a near-future fuel stop rather than assuming you'll coast to a cheaper gallon around the next blind curve.
See you Sunday. We will gather and pay attention to the God who is with us. Hands raised in worship, needles rising towards full.