I promised myself I wouldn’t do it again. But I did.
I drove along the Portaferry Road on the last whiff of petrol- literally running on empty. I was totally stressed out- panicking that my wee car was going to breakdown when I was forced to stop at road works. I had palpitations as I drove past the Floodgates. My car gasped its way to the petrol station where I re-fuelled & breathed a huge sigh of relief.
As I reflected on & overthought this experience I knew it was a metaphor for my life. Due to circumstances beyond my control, work had been busier than I ever intended it to be. I felt like it was overtaking my life & squeezing energy out of me. I had been running on empty & getting nowhere fast.
‘Being busy is not the same as being productive. It’s the difference between running on a treadmill and running to a destination. They’re both running, but being busy is running in place.’
‘Busyness is an illness of the spirit’ said the wise Eugene Peterson.
‘Rest Before you are tired’ said the equally wise A.Nonymous.
‘We must deliberately build margin into our lives, or our busy seasons will become permanent’ urged Michael Hyatt.That quote stopped me in my tracks.
I didn’t want to feel this way permanently. Margin was the alternative. Margin grasping the edges of our days & the chapters our lives sounded like utopia.
I don’t have as much time to read as I’d like- but sometimes even reading the title & tag line is enough to feel a little re-fuelled eg:
‘Reset-Living a grace paced life in a burnout culture’ (David Murray)
‘Present over perfect -leaving behind frantic for a simpler, more soulful way of living ‘(Shauna Niequist)
A grace-paced, soulful way of living is an elysian idea.
How do we exchange our emptiness for this?
‘The first step toward rejuvenation begins with accepting where you are and exposing your poverty, frailty, and emptiness to the love that is everything.’
‘We refuel by refocusing on God’ (Whitney Capps)
‘We can’t trade empty for empty
We must go to the waterfall
For there’s a break in the cup that holds love
Inside us all’
The universal truth states,’You can’t pour from an empty cup’
You just can’t.
And we’re broken people. We’re easily depleted. We don’t stay full for long. We leak.
We need to return to the all sufficiency of God whose love & grace pour out like mighty eternal waterfalls.
Just as my car needed re-fuelled with unleaded petrol, we need refilled by the Spirit of God.
‘Be Filled with the Spirit’
(Ephesians 5:18- NIV)
Or as Paul literally wrote ‘ Be being filled’ – keep being filled.
In the daily grind of life, we need to spend time with the Author of Life, infusing us with His strength & Spirit. We need to bring the burdens that are weighing us down & depleting our joy. And exchange them for the fullness of His truth & grace.
There’s soothing balm in Jesus’ words:
“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
(Matthew 11:28-29 NLT)
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
(Matthew 11:28-30 MSG)
If you feel like an empty cup, the best place to go is the Waterfall
‘You’re my place of quiet retreat; I wait for your word to renew me’ (Psalm 119:114)
‘Fill my cup Lord, I lift it up, Lord!
Come and quench this thirsting of my soul;
Bread of heaven, Feed me till I want no more
Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole! ‘
*originally posted in June2017 @ http://www.blessedme.co.uk