“Why do you wait until the gas gauge gets close to the E-mark, before stopping?!” From behind the steering wheel of my 20-year old Honda, I looked over at my wife and smiled. The song Running on Empty by Jackson Brown, was playing on the radio. Since Gina is eight years younger than me, I love to kid her about how old I was, and how young she was, when a song was popular back in the day. I have an uncanny way of remembering details. I said to her, “In 1978, I was 16 years old when that song came out!” I then started singing it at full throttle, until she cut the radio off. That was my cue to stop, and fill up the tank.
More than ever before, people are running on empty these days, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Instead of being tired on a Friday, a lot of folks are already spent on a Monday. The human body and the human spirit does have a breaking point. When I hear Oprah proclaim to crowds that all of our answers to our problems can be found in our own backyard, I shudder. I know differently.
From Windows of the Soul, Ken Gire says “But the self is a cul-de-sac, and eventually we end up where we started. Footsore and just as frustrated, just as unfulfilled.” We ain’t it. So when you come to the end of your rope, how do you hang on to the edge of a dusty cliff called hope, even though you’ve already yelled, “I’M DONE!”
Coming to the end of yourself is a beautiful place, as you embark, or continue the journey called the Christian life. When you finally realize that you’re not enough, but God is enough. Maybe you are struggling with difficult family relationship issues, which has drained you, which you are also powerless to change.
One of the names for God is El-Shaddai. It means God is sufficient. But, you have to believe He is sufficient, by coming to Him, which shows you “really” believe He is enough. That’s how you flesh out your faith. God offers HIMSELF, when your–SELF isn’t enough. Jesus said:
“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28, NLT)
But what has to happen before you can come to El-Shaddai? Gire continues, “The still axis. It is able to maintain its center no matter how fast the wheel is turning. It is, in fact, what keeps the wheel turning. Without the axis being still, the wheel would wobble off or else bind up and bring everything lurching to a stop. Stillness is what gives stability. And it is what keeps the wheels from falling off our lives.”
Why not brake, be still, and get alone with God? Let Him fill up your spiritual tank with His unbreakable promises, instead of relying on your own self-sufficiency? His vast reservoir never runs dry.
pictures courtesy of “Nelson & his Nikon”