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I drive a 2000 Ford Explorer with mileage north of 140,000… to say that this is the point in ownership where the parts start to go south would be a bit of an understatement; less than a month ago, I had to forfeit nearly the equivalent of a mortgage payment to replace the radiator and associated pump, hoses, and gaskets. Yesterday, as I hopped in for a short trip, I found myself listening to the never-fun sound of an engine that, try as it might, had no chance of turning over. Once again, I was stuck… going nowhere.

I’m blessed to have a AAA membership, so I called for a tow truck. When asked about the problem with my vehicle, I told the operator that it simply wouldn’t start; I was nearly offended by the next question:

Does the vehicle have fuel, sir?

Are you kidding me? I’ve been driving since 1982! I know what I’m doing! I’ve had some mishaps along the way, but I can say without a shadow of a doubt that I have never run out of gas… not even close!

While my driving sense was mildly insulted, I answered that I had just filled it up the day before and we proceeded to make the arrangements for the towing and visit to the repair shop.

If I’m writing about this, there must be a teachable moment in here somewhere, right?

I think that those of us who work in and around churches can make the dangerous assumption that we are properly fueled, if only by osmosis. We get to hear the sermon multiple times on any given weekend, even to the point that if the pastor were to fall suddenly ill, we could probably grab his notes and preach it ourselves! We might pray with our teams just before the service… We can tap our feet and maybe even sing along with some of the worship while still doing our appointed jobs; we are masters of multi-tasking, but

…are you out of fuel?

or more importantly, are you offended that I’m asking?

Are you doing and doing, keeping the creative and technical aspects of your church life going, but not having any time where you can unplug and read God’s word for yourself?

Do you have a sabbath? …a day when you aren’t doing church? …a day when you can find some quiet, some rest, a true re-fueling?

I’ve seen some of the smartest, most talented, and best intentioned people crash and burn because they filled every possible moment with their tasks, but left no margin to seek God on their own. I’ve come to believe that we can be crushed under the weight of all we have to do if we don’t have proper time to seek the One we claim to do these things for.

First and foremost, God wants my heart. Not my art, not my technical know-how… he simply wants me, and I need to make time for that.

What are you doing, intentionally, to re-fuel?


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