Day 14: Are You Running on Empty

I’ve never been a breakfast eater. Most of the time before my morning run, I may grab an energy bar or some coffee, but not a meal. Once I started training for a marathon, I learned the hard lesson of staying properly fueled.

As my long runs gradually crept up in the double digits, my running partner, who is a seasoned runner, warned me that I would not be able to run on empty. She said that if I didn’t refuel, my body would refuse to keep going.

Dutifully, I grabbed a pack of power gel in my pocket before heading to the half. The race event informed participants there would be water and food stations on mile marker 4, 8 and 12, but after reaching the first prospect, I knew I was in trouble. No fuel. Eight miles in, I learned firsthand what my friend meant as I felt my energy level drop. I gagged down the thick goo and waited for the sugary electrolytes to work their magic. Within minutes, my internal needle rose back to full and I resumed running. The only problem I foresaw was that I my needle would fall again and there was no fuel station in my future.

Right before I reached mile 9, I noticed a unopened pack of power gel on the road. And another several hundred feet ahead. I just knew God was watching out for me, but I had to feel for the others who had lost their valuable fuel. Needless to say, I got the fuel I needed and finished well.
It can be less obvious to see when our spirit is running on empty. Doing the dailies sometimes clouds my ability to see that I am depleted. Served out. Given dry. My fuel level shows up in tiredness, curtness with family, irritation, sleeplessness, jealousy, resentment, and ‘woe is me’ syndrome. I moan to myself, “Look how much I have done and no one cares.” I am like Martha standing in the kitchen pleading with the Lord, “Make my sister help me!” Yet, He gently prods her that while she was fueling her guests, she forgot to refill he own soul.
Fueling takes time. Ripping open a goo packet. Quiet moments of solitude with the Spirit and the Word. Not doing so takes more time. Coming to a complete stop to regain your energy. The most important thing to know is that God is always ready to refuel us. God will pour out His blessings if we trust Him. The Holy Spirit will keep filling is if we bring our empty tanks to be filled.
“I ask Him to strengthen you by His Spirit-not a brute strength, but a glorious inner strength-that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite Him in.” Ephesians 3:15.

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