What fills up your "tank"? I've read articles describing how extroverts and introverts get their emotional tanks filled differently. If you get all charged up by being with big groups of people and talking late into the night, you might be an extrovert. If you need "alone time" to refuel, well, then, you may be more introverted. When I imagine that perfect spot for my rejuvenation, I picture a quiet coffeehouse, smooth jazz music, and the aroma of good coffee. If not there, I visualize myself alone in my bedroom with a few good books or writing journals. While I thrive on being with other people, I typically need solitude to unwind and re-charge.
Maybe I didn't get enough of that this summer, but for whatever reason I'm feeling needy. Tired. Empty. And this is just September. Perhaps you can relate?
Everything is starting...school, extracurricular activities, ministry...and this is how I feel. I am at zero instead of a full tank. So what do I do now? Fortunately, I've been down this road before. Considering that my 47th birthday is just a few days away, age has given me experience to learn and grow from. My response in the past has been fear, stress, anger, apathy. But, this year I knew I had nothing of my own to bring to the table and only my loving Father could care for me and give me everything I need.
Spending time in prayer and turning over my needs to Him, God has quieted my heart and shown that He is the Provider of my daily manna. When my responses are calm and kind instead of quick-tempered or anxiety-ridden, I know it is He at work in me. I am very much a work-in-progress (definition of sanctification, yes?), but I rejoice that God has faithfully worked in me so far and that He will continue doing so the rest of the days of my life. To reflect back and see the changes He is making causes me to rejoice in Him.
The old Puritan preacher, Richard Greenham taught his church: "Every day must have a day's increase in godliness." As we patiently and purposefully live our lives in a posture that is dependent upon Christ, we will see ourselves being conformed more into His image.
My tank is exactly where it should be--empty of self and completely reliant on Jesus Christ. If you see anything good in me, may He be glorified all the more! And, one benefit of this state is that I'm enjoying a closeness and a love for my Savior that I've been praying for. Whether you feel all charged up or you are breathing fumes, may this posture of reliance on our Heavenly Father be yours.
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3: 22-23