Last week, I ran outta gas.
Actually, my big old Sub ran outta gas.
Let me explain.
My Suburban has a faulty gas gauge. I've owned it for a few years, and early on - it failed to start when I tried to start it (more than once) ... and the culprit turned out to be "no gas" even though the gas light failed to warn me ... and the gauge indicated that I had nearly a quarter tank. The dealer that it was purchased from insists that there is no problem, but ... I'm just sayin' ... the gauge says I have gas, the Sub won't start, and then adding gas does the trick. I don't know. I am as far from an automotive expert as they come, but logic tells me ... there is something wrong with the gauge!!!
Somebody tell this sister that she's not crazy!!!
Anyhoodle, I noticed on Tuesday evening that the gauge was reading just below a quarter tank ... the point at which I've come to recognize as time to fill 'er up. I noticed this as I was driving right past a gas station ... and I thought to myself, "Self, you should really stop and fill up. You don't wanna run outta gas."
But then Self replied, "Naw. You're tired and busy. You don't have time right now. Surely, you've enough gas to get you home ... and back to a gas station tomorrow. Just keep on going. You'll be fine."
So, I listened to Self ... and went home without filling up.
So Wednesday morning comes bright and promising. My husband has taken the kids to school when I get a call from my youngest, 5-year-old X.
"Mom, I forgot my rocks at home for show-and-tell."
"Oh! Well, okay ... I'll bring your rocks right over."
One day earlier, he had dug through a tray I have sitting in the bathroom filled with candles surrounded by pebbles, shells and marbles. He discovered two half-dollar sized flat glass marbles which we claimed as his own ... and believed to be the greatest treasure ever discovered (at least, in his mom's bathroom arrangement) ... and eagerly looked forward to sharing with his young classmates.
I hung up the phone and located the precious "gems" and hopped in the Sub, turned the ignition, and ... nothing.
I know what this means.
I shoulda ... coulda ... shoulda ... got gas last night.
Our driveway is on a pretty steep incline. I decide that maybe if I get it to a flatter surface, whatever gas is left in the tank will redistribute in such a way that it would start after all. So, I flip into neutral and roll backwards into the cul-de-sac.
I try again.
So, now not only will my Sub not start, but I feel silly because my vehicle is sitting in the middle of the cul-de-sac, not going anywhere soon.
Can you say, "Loser!"
Before, you rush in to pat my back and tell me that I'm not a loser ... I know, I know ... but, come on ... I had perfect opportunity to NOT end up in the middle of the cul-de-sac in a vehicle with no gas ... and I blew it!
This is so much like my spiritual life.
I need to fuel up regularly with God - time spent in His Word, in studying it, reflecting on it, even memorizing it, and praying it. I need time spent with Him just talking ... and listening. And I KNOW what happens when I don't make this time a priority, when Self says to me, "Naw. You're tired and busy. You don't have time right now. Surely, you've enough God time stored up to get you through today. Just keep on going. You'll be fine."
I do come to a point at which I say, "Crap! I've got nothin'. I'm dry."
Reminds me of a friend (maybe you're reading?) who has said, "I'd rather be sleep-deprived than God-deprived."
That's so good. So Good.
I can flounder on without sleep (don't enjoy it, but can do it) ... but I really don't wanna flounder through life without God. I've tried. It sucks. Its like having to walk everywhere when you could be driving. Frustrating.
Anyhoodle, back to me sitting in my cul-de-sac, going nowhere.
I accept the fact that I made a poor call.
I return to my house and check the two 5-gallon gas jugs in the garage. They're both empty.
I call all 3 of my most immediate neighbors. They're all gone.
I resign myself to walking the 4 blocks to the gas station (not such a big deal) and back (a bigger deal given I'll be carrying a FULL 5-gallons back). I've not any better options.
I start out ... and one block into my walk ... an old blue pickup truck slows done. The driver smiles, waves and rolls down the window.
"You outta gas?!"
"Yes!!! How could you tell?!"
I'm being facetious. Obviously, women walking down the road in freezing temps with a 5 gallon red gas jug in her hand pretty much screams, "I'm outta gas!"
He offers me a ride and I hop in, relieved.
"You're not gonna kidnap me, right?"
He laughs. I think this means that he won't.
He drives me to the gas station where I fill up my jug, hoist it into his truck ... and direct him back to the cul-de-sac where the Sub is waiting.
I thank my "angel" ... who didn't, BTW, kidnap me ... and poured the necessary liquid into the parched tank.
And then, I hopped into the driver's seat, turned the key ... and the engine roared to life.
Dear Lord, let me remember that no excuse is valid for not taking the time to fill myself up with You.
PS - X got his precious gems in time to share them with his mates. woot woot!