If you have ever run out of gas then you know the feeling. And it’s not a great one. I’ve run out of gas twice in my life. The first time I had just bought a ‘new’ 1967 Camaro project car. My wife and I headed out for a short drive with what I thought was a quarter tank of gas. I thought wrong, or at least the gauge lied. The best part of the story is that my wife was pregnant with our first child. So I had to leave her with the car, jog back to our other car, drive home to get a gas can, drive to the gas station and then back to the car. It wasn’t one of my best moments!
The next time was legit though. My wife and I were headed home from a conference that was on an island just off the coast of South Carolina. We had enough in the tank to get a ways down the road where fuel would be significantly less expensive. We set the cruise control and headed inland. When we drive we talk; about everything and nothing and this trip was no different. We got involved in some deep conversation and the next thing I knew the cruise control kicked off, the car sputtered once and then we coasted to the side of the road. At least she wasn’t pregnant this time! Fortunately we made it to the shade of an underpass but there was no running to the nearest gas station. I climbed the embankment to see what was around and the only thing I found was some barbed wire hidden under some vines. So back to the car I retreated with a hole in my pants and a matching one in my thigh. We called roadside assistance and waited an hour or so before we were back on our way.
So here is the lesson. The lower the level in your tank the greater the chance you will run out. Obvious right? I know people who seem to perpetually drive around with the gas light on. I also know people who start looking for the nearest station as soon as they get below a half of a tank. Running out of gas is more than a minor inconvenience. It costs time, energy, money (yours and sometimes others) and has the potential to cause greater damage. When you run a tank down to the last drop you often suck up trash that can clog filters, lines, injectors, etc. And that costs LOTS more time, energy and money.
You might be getting the idea that what I’m getting to isn’t just about cars. See we have all kinds of tanks in our lives. Health tanks, love tanks, relational tanks, emotional tanks, financial tanks, spiritual tanks and that’s just scratching the surface. And when one of those tanks runs out bad things happen. And often they don’t just affect us.
Just like cars we have to fill those tanks up on a regular basis to keep running. And we have to fill them up with the right fuel! So let’s take a minute today and look at the levels in our tanks. Some may be full which is great, some may be running a little low so let’s make sure to get those filled up and some may be completely dry (which is called a crisis). Not all crises are avoidable, but some are. And when our tanks are full we are definitely better able to handle them when they do come our way.
One last quick thought – Did you know that you can fill other people’s tanks? That’s right! Some of what God has given you doesn’t belong to you. It belongs to Him and He has entrusted you with the responsibility and privilege of passing it along to someone else.