Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Nothing Left in the Tank

My Son, Josh ran Cross Country in high school. He would run year round to prepare for the cross country season. His strategy was to run strong but leave a little to finish the race even stronger. But that didn't always work out as planned.

I came across a newspaper article from when he ran in a state completion. It said "Josh Debner seemed to drag himself up the last hill --- He was running on empty."

We have this vison of living strong in faith, strong in character, strong in body, mind and spirit, but then the hills get steeper and longer and our pace slows and we have nothing left in the tank. We can feel ourselves running on empty this time of year. We seem to have more commitments than time each day to fulfill them. The season of Advent calls for slowing down and finding quiet time. But that doesn't really happen. If you’re like me, than you might find yourself dragging yourself through the next few weeks until Christmas.

 Our vehicles have warning lights when the fuel tank is almost empty. To ignore the light, means that you will be walking rather than riding. We may not have warning lights, but we do have warning symptoms when our tank is low. We become angry, we isolate ourselves, we are irritable, and we don't eat or sleep well. When my tank is empty I don't think very well either.

Maybe as much as we want to run full steam until Christmas, we may need to pause, to slow down, and to enjoy quiet time. Taking time to read scripture, have our hope, our peace, our joy and our love recharged fills our tank. This allows us to finish strong. Remember that the race we are running this Christmas ends at the manger, where God's love story for you becomes flesh.

Maybe you are looking for a miracle this Advent season. Ann Voskamp, writing in The Greatest Gift says, "Miracles begin understated. They begin, and the earth doesn't shake and trumpets don't sound. Miracles begin with the plainsong of a promise-and sometimes not even fully believed. This is always the best place for miracles: God meets us right where we don't believe. When our believing runs out, God's loving runs on. This is the season of the Advent of God. The barren will birth. Dreams will wake into reality. Noting is impossible with God."

Remember that you don't have to work for Christmas. You don't have to earn Christmas, you don't have perform Christmas, you don't have to make Christmas. Take time to rest in Christ, wait in Christ, and breathe easy in Christ. Open you heart to the miracle of grace. God will prepare you heart for the coming of the Lord. No matter the barrenness, the emptiness, the nothing left in the tank feeling, you can have as much of Jesus as you want and need. The Christmas miracle is you get God with you. Emmanuel.