So, as I write this I am reflecting on a great week.
A week that feels-a-lot-longer-than-a-week.
But a great week.
I finished up my time in England by catching up with a friend from college days over a Nando’s. (Because, you know, I really needed more food after the week I’ve just had!) But, it was a great way to finish up a great week. I love good food and good conversation!!
And then, mind, heart and stomach full of stories, memories and food, I began the epic 8 hour drive back home. Now, since I started living in Inverness, I’ve become very used to driving the long distances that it really takes to get anywhere, and the host of music, podcasts and poetry that it takes to keep oneself awake on such drives. So, despite a couple of nap-stops, I safely made it back to the Highlands by the early hours of the morning.
However, the thing that has amazed me on this trip, has been my hire car. It’s a diesel Golf. It’s silver (I only really care about the colour to be honest). It has great speakers (No, I also care about those!) And it does miles and miles and miles on 1 tank of fuel.
Miles, and miles and miles. And miles.
I have been amazed.
I made it from Inverness to Derbyshire on less than a full tank. I put about half a tank in at a station in Sheffield and it made it all the way back to Perth.
As I passed Glasgow, contemplating stopping for fuel, the dial was just above the red. But the ‘red’ looked particularly generous in this car, and it had been exceptionally effecient, so I thought I’d risk heading on for a bit longer. At Stirling services the red light had come on, so I felt confident that I could make it to Perth.
Tired, driving for over 5 hours and wishing I could teleport myself home, confident.
However, as I got within a 20 mile distance of Perth, I began to doubt myself. Rightly so, I think.
The fuel gauge looked dangerously low and the rumblings of a car not so happy with running on only fumes began to get louder. And louder. And louder.
I think I pulled into the petrol station with about a mile in it. Literally.
Now, my confession time is this: I tend to often drive my car around almost empty. I have a thing about the expense of fuel, it feeling like a waste of money, and me genuinely always forgetting to fill up at the end of a long journey. A couple of times I’ve embarrassingly ran out of fuel on route to the petrol station. Normally I make it, but my car often makes the grumblings that show me it is really not happy.
And last night, as I rolled into a fuel station with seconds to spare, it made me think that we often run our lives in a similar way.
I had a beautiful, brand new golf. But I chose to run it on empty. I risked going just that little bit further because I couldn’t be bothered to stop more than once on the drive home. In reality, I risked having a walk a couple of miles in the dark with a fuel container! And the thing is, I know my car doesn’t run as well on empty. But I still choose/forget/can’t be bothered to change this scenario.
And sometimes, if I’m honest, I do the same in my life.
I know that I function better when I’m in a place of overflowing intimacy with Holy Spirit. I know that it makes all the difference in the world. And I know that the potential places to stop and refuel are even more frequent than petrol stations on the M1/M6/A9 type route back to Inverness. Because there is no excuse.
But yet sometimes, I let myself run down to empty. I think I can just get a few more miles out of my life, forgetting that I was created to live in the overflow and not the reserves. I was created to refuel regularly, continually and consistently. God fashioned me in a way that means I should never ever be separated from Him and His love for a moment, minute or nano-second. And I’m not. But when you let yourself run down to empty, you can sometimes feel like it.
I was challenged at 1am. Challenged to probably be a bit wiser with my fuel stops. But also challenged to make sure that running-on-empty is never a spiritual reality for me. Never. Not ever.
Because if Jesus did everything to be close to me, I want to respond with a life filled up, poured out and filled up again. And again. And again.
And running in the overflow.
Thank you Holy Spirit, that you are the abundant giver of life and love and energy and every single need and desire.
P.S. Those of you who know me well, know that I ordered an AMAZING star wars dress a couple of weeks ago (I KNOW, I AM a geek!) Anyway, I returned home to the most beautifully nerd inspiring package I have opened in a long time. Judith from Rusty Cuts (www.rustycuts.etsy.com), THANK YOU!! What a legend!