Everyone goes through it at some point. The gas gauge needle is pointing towards the “E” and in some cars the light starts to flash or there’s a little beep that is supposed to remind you that your car is close to being empty of gas and if you don’t pull into a gas station soon the car will sputter and die from lack of gas.
It’s a great analogy about our spiritual lives, except we don’t have little warning lights or “beeps” that go on to remind ourselves that we’re running on empty. Instead, we start to sputter and cough and before we realize what’s happening, we’re stopped. Stopped dead in our tracks.
It may require a boost to get us going again. A boost like a crisis that requires us to refocus and redirect our lives back to God. It may be an actual death in the family, where we are reminded of the frailty of life and we need to re-evaluate our own lives. It may be a mountain-top experience like a retreat or a conference that re-charges our batteries and keeps us going, for a little while at least.
I’ve noticed that when I stall out spiritually a good boost does help for awhile but it’s a short-term solution to the real problem. Just like a car that needs daily upkeep to keep its engine running smoothly to avoid breaking down, I need to spend time daily recharging MY spiritual batteries by spending time talking to God and spending time in His Word. If I don’t, it won’t be long before I will be running on empty and worse, completely stalled out and in need of a boost or a good push to get me going again.
A good push? Just like a car dead in the middle of the road, a couple of well-meaning good Samaritans may come along to help push that vehicle off to the side of the road and may even stay with you while you wait for a tow truck. Without their help, you’d be stuck there. It’s amazing how that analogy works with spiritual stalling out too. I don’t always have the will or the wherewithal to get out of the slump on my own. That’s when I need a good “push” to get rolling again.
This past week, it was my husband that spurred me on. I would rather have stayed home and do marking (which there is no end to when you’re a Language Arts teacher) but instead he said, “No, we need to go to small group tonight.”
I didn’t want to go. I had a good excuse not to go but he knew (and I had to admit it too), that my little spiritual gauge was pointing downwards. I was running on empty and I needed a boost to get back on track. I needed his little push, and when I attended I was SO glad I was there. It was just the recharge I needed.
Are you running on empty? Maybe you need a boost or maybe a good push so you don’t stall out. Look for ways to recharge those spiritual batteries but don’t forget that daily maintenance is necessary for optimal performance.