(This is an actual picture from my a car… no I wasn’t driving when I snapped this photo.)
We have all seen it before, we have all panicked when it came on… the dreaded “low fuel” light on our car’s dashboard. This indicator light tells us that we only have a limited time before the vehicle we are currently operating will no long function properly. You only have to experience being stranded on the side of the road once to take the warning seriously.
There are times in our life where we can have “low fuel.” We can over work ourselves, we can over-extend ourselves, over-stress ourselves. We can just simply run out of steam. Trying to do too much can be taxing on our bodies as well as our relationships. Doctors and health experts can give medication or prescribe forms of relaxation or stress relief to reduce blood pressures and other problems that can occur.
But what about when we are low in our spiritual tank? Sometimes we do not have a handy light that comes on when we are low spirituality, it just begins to decline gradually. You might not notice it at first but along the way you will notice that something is not “right” or sometimes seems a bit “off.” Worship is just going through the motions, scripture is just words on a page, songs are just old tunes with old words…What are we to do when we our tanks are low? Is there a spiritual ‘fillin’ station?’ Where is the spiritual food that we can put in our tanks?
Some would argue that worship is such a place; worship should be the place where we encounter the divine, where we hear the word proclaimed, where we are ‘recharged’ for the week ahead. Others would say that the Bible, the word of God is a place where one can find renewal. Others would say that community is the best way to “air out” one’s feelings and concerns about life, to have a support group, a ‘safety net’ of sorts.
When you are sick (as I recently was), your energy level is zapped to almost zero. Even when you are better it days to built back up your energy stamina back to the level it was prior to you being ill. It takes time and care, there is no ‘quick fix.’
Lent reminds us that sometimes our tanks get low, even to the point of almost empty. The holy times in the church are make us aware of our spiritual lives and to make a commitment to strengthen them, to refill our tanks, whether that is through prayer, reading the Bible, attending worship or communing with others, we have an opportunity to be more intentional about our spiritual well being.
Lent is 40 days to remind us of the journey but also to give us time to recharge, to reboot, to become revitalized– so that we will be spiritually ready for the blessed day of Easter.
Spiritual renewal and rebirth takes time.
Figuring out what refills your tank might take some time and may not be the same thing it has been in the past. But I believe that your tank will one day be back on the ‘full’ line.
What you are doing or not doing to ‘fill up’ your spiritual tank?