Running on empty

I have stories while in college where my friends or myself pushed the envelope and we ran our vehicles to the limit. We wanted to know how far we could run while the gas gauge showed that we were running on empty (sometimes it was just because we had no money). It was and exhilarating feeling and fun at the time. We had very few life commitments and we thought that it was cool. I know what you’re thinking, what in the world were they thinking? Isn’t that the dumbest thing to do? Looking back I admit it was foolish. What if we’d had a real emergency and had no fuel to go on?

We were ignorant to the obvious, we would be out of gas soon. This created even bigger problems because we ignored a fact about the vehicles system: when a car runs on empty, usually because of constant usage and time, dirt and other unclean components accumulate in the gas tank. When it is pushed to the limit of running on an empty tank, it can damage the vehicles system and become a costly and unnecessary repair.

Usually, the times my car ran out of gas were in times when I needed to get somewhere the most. It was times in which I was not playing that foolish game, but forgot to replenish the tank. Not a good feeling at all.

There is a good resemblance to our lives. When we stop replenishing we run the risk of getting stranded in the most difficult places, without spiritual, physical or emotional fuel. It happens all the time. We forget the most important things in life. We stop being inspired, and we walk through life as if the charge we have, will be enough to carry us through. Our heart, our mind and our soul needs refueling, constantly. We can kid ourselves that we will be ok, but the truth remains that we know deep inside that we are not. Our priorities start to drift and we loose focus.

Running on empty creates a greater and tougher experience in life. We create a lot of smoke, and we find out pretty quick, it is easily dissipated by even a small wind. When this happens, discouragement kicks in. Because all of the focus has shifted to efforts that have no substance and that are unsustainable on a “one tank”. These are the moments when we start to feel restless, we see signs of burnout and sometimes even feel depressed. Our thought process is blurred and we make mistakes. I think that we run on empty on the belief of our infallible talent, that we are above everyone else and we have it all figured out. Somehow the rules of life apply to everybody else but us and that we have something special that no one else has. In reality what we are showing is a prideful heart and a sense of entitlement. It’s similar to when the tank is empty. It clogs the system and the vehicle doesn’t run well or it even won’t run at all. Dirt and foreign objects are interfering with the normal flow of supply.

We need to realign our lives to the basics. In our spiritual journey, nothing is a replacement of daily worship. In business, new prospects and clients are the lifeline that replenish the cycle. At home, nurturing our relationships everyday is a must. With your body, rest and eat well; you get the point. Don’t run on empty.

Slow down and get back to the basics, you might need it in the moment you least expect. Having a full tank will at least give you spiritual, emotional and even physical margin, to endure the tough times. Replenish your life, and stop running on empty.

“BREATHE expectantly, LIVE confidently and MOVE Boldly”

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© Copyright Danny Maldonado, 2012


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