Saturday, March 8, 2014

Got Gas? (Chapel A Day 2014 Day 3)

I was worn out from working at my demanding job, raising two amazing----and over-the-top energetic---daughters, running a household and volunteering at my church and the girls' schools. I LOVED it! But... I was DRAINED. And.... I couldn't figure out how to get un-drained---physically and emotionally.

Then someone told me about a speaker she'd heard who addressed "running out of gas." He'd said something like this: People are like cars. They run hard and well and with little help when they are well fueled. When they run out of gas, they sputter, limp to the side of the road and stop. And, guess what? They cannot gas themselves up. Someone has to do it for them.

Interesting. How many of us try to gas ourselves up when we run out of fuel? Perhaps we try get going again with caffeine, food, alcohol, relationships...  Maybe what we need is for someone to take us to the filling station.

I thought about this on Day 3 of my Chapel A Day 2014 Lenten journey. I'm sacrificing an hour a day in spiritual reflection. My goal is to do this in a different chapel, or church, or synagogue, or outdoor "sanctuary" every day of Lent until Easter. This day found me in the Basilica of St. Michael the Archangel in downtown Pensacola.  I'm not Catholic, but I often find myself sitting in the back row of a daily Mass kneeling and praying and,... well, filling up.

This time, there was something different. At the end of the service, the parishioners were invited to remain for the Stations of the Cross... a way of retracing the steps of Jesus from His conviction to His crucifixion to His burial through structured prayer. I'd never done this. I thought it might be a good idea to try. So, I did.

It was very moving... spiritually and literally. With the aid of plaques depicting 14 stops, or stations, along this journey.. and with the structured prayers.. we moved around the church... one station to the next. We prayed and sang in unison. Some cried. Some smiled. All, it occurred to me, were filling up.

You out of gas? There's a book.. or a devotional.. or a speaker.. or a Sunday School class.. or a retreat.. or a time apart for prayer.. or a church that's just waiting to fill you up. 

Let them. 

Because, if you don't... there are destructive habits, people and circumstances that are also waiting to fill you up. 

Don't let them.

Got gas? Well, how about finding a "Station" where you can fill up with Premium Grade A fuel? 

Your bill's already been paid.

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