Monday, January 9, 2012

When you're running... on empty.



Last week I woke up early to take my son to his hockey game. My dad, Ethan and I got into the car to drive to the hockey arena. I pulled out of the driveway and no sooner had I done that, when the low fuel warning light appeared on the dash. Grrr...I hate it when my husband does that!

Although I knew I would pass three gas stations on the way to the arena, I didn't have time to stop, because I was already running late. It was then that I heard the familiar voice of my husband ringing in my head. "Don't worry, you can drive at least 40km with the gas that's in the reserve ".  He always says that to me because he always leaves it empty. But since the arena is only about 10km away I wasn't too worried. I drove straight there promising to get gas on the way home.

After the game, I stopped at the first gas station and pulled up to the pump. I flicked the release button to open the door of the gas tank and... nothing. I tried it again and again nothing. I flicked it over and over. The door would not open. My dad got out to help me, and he couldn't open it either. The two of us tried for about 15 minutes to no avail. We couldn't open the door so we couldn't fill the tank. Unable to get gas at a gas station. Oh the irony.

My car is new so  I decided it would probably be best to take it back to the dealership. Again I heard my husbands familiar (and now very annoying) voice saying "Don't worry, you can drive at least 40km with the gas that's in the reserve". Really? I did some quick mental math and concluded that since I'd only driven about 10km, I could possibly make it to the dealership which was about 25km away. I didn't want to take the risk, but what choice did I have?

What followed next can only be described as some of my worst driving ever. Canada's Worst Driver? At that moment...yes I was. I was so anxious that the car would choke and die if I stopped that I tried my best not to. My husband said it could go for 40km, but how did he know? He'd certainly never tried it. And what if he was wrong?  What if it only did 39km? or 35km? Needless to say I was erratic badly drove Even went through an amber light or two. But don't tell anyone.

At the dealership, the mechanic took approximately one minute to diagnose the problem. He looked at my car and told me there was nothing wrong with it except for the fact that it was frozen. Pouring hot water over the door would've released it. That's it. Frozen. I myself stood frozen for a moment. Feeling stupid.

Why do car mechanics always state the obvious and make me look dumb? DON'T answer that!

As I drove home I thought about how I could've avoided this situation. Carrying extra gas wouldn't have helped me because I couldn't even get into the tank. I knew the secret. It was something my good friend Liz told me.

You see this would never have happened to Liz, for one good reason. Her car is never empty. Ever. Liz keeps the car full and refills it when the tank reaches the halfway mark. She has never seen the low fuel warning light. She doesn't need a low fuel warning light.

Hmmm. A valuable lesson there me thinks. And not just for driving.

I also found that last year when I did my half marathon training clinic, my instuctor Monick would remind us all to "Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate". Two weeks before the race she layed it on really thick. "I don't care if you're thirsty or not....DRINK"

That advice made all the difference for my race. I ran more efficently. I avoided the build up of lactic acid in my legs . And I ran a lot faster. My personal best, shaving a whopping 25 minutes off my time.

But I haven't been applying that principle to my personal life.

Lately I've been feeling dry. Empty. Completely drained. And it's not just the post Christmas blahs or the fact that I'm missing my parents. So why?

I didn't have to think for very long or look very hard for the source of my drought. It lay on my beside table covered in a fine layer of dust. Just when did I last read my bible?

"...but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become a spring of water welling up to eternal life" (John 4:14 NIV)

The word of God is a source of living water for me and I haven't been reading it. Hence the thirst. Simple really. Nuff said.

So today I picked it up again. And not just the familiar favourite parts, but something new and fresh. I also started reading Max Lucado's "God's Story, your story".

Ahhh...that's better.

Life can be draining. Very draining. So it's good to be spirtually filled. And keep topping yourself up. Daily.

Because you never know when a situation may arise that keeps your gas door from opening.

And you can only go so far on your reserve.

5 comments:

Brian Miller said...

two very solid kernels of wisdom there...DRINK...and KEEP IT FULL...easy to let ourselves run down to empty and then it is crash city...

happygirl said...

Frozen. I love your story and the analogy to faith. AND, you are a runner. What can't you do? You are AMAZING. Drink and keep the car full of gas. Especially if you live in the cold north. :)

Michele said...

It was God that I read this. Thank you.

emily wierenga said...

yes. i know. i have been so thirsty lately... and i need to stop and drink. thank you for this.

Amy Sullivan said...

Yes, always drink, even when you don't feel thirsty.

Clicked over from Emily's!

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