Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Running on Empty

I find that most people are running on empty. Work, school, family, ministry….all tend to use up all our “fuel” and leave us with an empty tank sputtering along the side of the road barely able to move. Like the metaphor so far?

Anyway, I know for me it is best to STOP and refuel.

I decided last week to take a break from writing/revising my YA novel so that I could refresh and come back to it next month with a new perspective.
I also know my God and how He works. I know He will show me things in the next month that should be in my book. What I mean by that is, when we take a break and just STOP striving…that’s usually when the Lord speaks to us in His wonderful voice.

We read in scripture that Jesus rose early in the morning and went up a mountain to be closer to His Father.  In Luke 6, we read that He went up the mountain and stayed there all night praying to His Father.
Obviously, the Lord was teaching us something about prayer and seeking time alone with our Father. If we want to enrich our relationship with the Lord, time alone in prayer with Him is most important to the Christian. This is when we engage in conversation with Him about every aspect of our lives. He is that personal. Which leads to my next point…

I suppose the word meditation means many things to many people, but to me it means time alone with the Lord listening to Him.  So often we are used to talking, and talking, and talking…that we forget to listen. I mean, really listen. Meditating goes with prayer. Once you have worshipped the Lord, laid your cares at His feet, spend time being still and quiet. Wait for Him to talk to you. He will not disappoint you during this time alone with Him.

I must admit, I don’t fast as often as I should! Fasting isn’t just about going without food or water. Fasting should be about denying oneself of something in order to focus on the Lord. For instance, perhaps you enjoy a big lunch each day. Maybe you spend time with friends during lunch. Take one day and skip lunch. Instead of eating and socializing, spend that entire time alone with the Lord in prayer.
Better yet, sometimes in order to show the Lord our intent, we need to deny ourselves food for the whole day. When hunger pangs happen, spend time alone with the Lord in prayer. Not only is this a valuable way to spend time with the Lord, but it is also a good way to “cleanse” your body. As Americans, we are constantly eating. Believe me, one day without food will not harm us! We have so many stored calories to use up…and just think of it as a wonderful way to devote time to the Lord in prayer!
I resolve to fast this year.

And of course, one of the things we can learn from our Lord is how he taught, prayed, and spoke God’s word. As I always tell my son, “You cannot teach what you do not know…”
If we Christians long to teach God’s word and be alone with the Lord how can we not be in His word daily? Reading God’s word is vital to the Christian’s refueling of the soul. This is where we get our strength, our sustenance, our vigor to carry on in this crazy world.
Spending time alone reading the words of our God leads to greater power because we are reminded of who we are in Christ: A child of God, an heir to the throne, a citizen of heaven!
What better way to spend an afternoon than alone at the feet of the Savior reading His words?

As I take a break from writing this month, I vowed to do something else with my creative energy: artwork. Painting or drawing uses a part of my brain that I had ignored these past months. Tapping into that part will only add fire to the creative fuel already burning. But I will also spend time in God’s word, prayer, and meditation to hear from Him what He wants to do with my life. I want to just let go....and just be.

I strongly urge you to take a much needed break from the everyday life that might be draining your tank. Stop striving, even for a day, and just….be still.



  1. Yep, I have done this and it has helped so much! I took off the month of December from writing and it was so refreshing. Sometimes this helps us restart our engines so we can be even more efficient than before!

  2. I am sooo looking forward to this month off! Painting and drawing and just relaxing again. Yay! Thanks for visiting. :)

  3. Would love to incorporate your work into a guest blog. See what others are writing at