Posted: February 28, 2020 by Erica Sandeno
I posted a funny meme to my social media with the intent to tease my husband. It said something clever about “….my wife when I borrow her car and she knows it is out of fuel.” This is a recurring discussion at our house because I am notorious for having low fuel in my car. I play this mental game with myself because I know exactly how far I can go on the least amount of fuel.
I knew the meme would make my husband laugh, but I did not expect the number of comments I would get on this silly post. The division was crystal clear. The majority of wives were with me and played this skillful game of “how far can I go after the low fuel light comes on”. The voice of husbands was much different as they agreed that this phenomenon was ridiculous. They banded together to have a loud voice of reason on this controversial topic. Some husbands threw out facts about the damage to our car engines from such neglect. The wives, however, were unaffected by this logic. They countered with reasons why stopping to fuel up was not conducive to the insane schedule of a mom. Others retaliated with brilliant comebacks like “fake news” and “still don’t care”.
This thread carried on for days. I have never laughed so hard while connecting with my social media friends. The wives began to tag me in photos of their low fuel lights. I got funny messages about how their day was focused on getting errands done with the low fuel light on. This was definitely the comic relief we all needed during a busy week, in light of heavy world news, but to me, it became more than just a funny Facebook thread.
Pushed Too Far
One morning I posted a picture of my low fuel light that said, “action required.” It was telling me I had pushed too far and needed to address the issue of an empty tank. I was humored by the next option it gave me, “dismiss.” It was warning me that I should take action, but ultimately I could ignore my need and keep pushing through. It became clear to me that this is how I often live my life, running on fumes.
When the wives were asked “why” they do not just fill up their tanks, they immediately responded with a list of, in my opinion, solid reasons for avoiding the gas station. Many were moms and traveled with a carload of tired, hungry, crying, fighting kids. Most days, survival is at the top of our list, trumping other important things like fuel. Other women stated that they were usually running late and did not have time to stop or did not want to get out of the car.
As funny as this was when we were pleading our case to our husbands, I realized that we use these excuses in life when it comes to being spiritually full. We run from meeting to meeting, ball game to ball game, and we are running on empty. We are in survival mode; trying to get by and survive the day. We neglect the things that are so important to us like rest, fuel (good food), and time with Jesus. We put everyone else’s needs above our own until we are like a wrung-out rag.
This definitely applies to the men too, so I don’t mean to be biased in focusing on women, however, I am one, so I have the most experience with it. Women, wives, mothers; we tend to find ourselves in different areas of life where we are serving others. It’s in our God-given nature, but we are not supernaturally refueled. Even though some of us may appear to be superheroes at times, we are not. We need to be fueled with rest, good food, relationships, and most importantly we need Jesus!! Every single day we need Jesus. Even if it is only a few minutes in the early morning before the herd is awake, or the couple of miles on your morning commute. Make time to refuel.
Different Methods To Fuel Up
I have found there are a million ways to do this. Depending on what my day is like, I use a different method. Some days I’m in my car blasting a worship song, and others I read God’s Word. If I need wisdom and content, I will listen to podcasts, or sermons on the radio if I’m in the car. Sometimes I just sit in a quiet room and pray. I need to isolate myself so that I can turn down the loud demands of the world around me and hear the still small voice of the Father who created me.
If you have ever flown anywhere you know that at the beginning of the flight is the safety talk. In the case of emergency, the oxygen masks will come down. You are advised to put your mask on first before helping anyone, including your children. There is a good reason for this. If you are not oxygenated you will not be alive for long, and you won’t be any good to anyone. Let that sink in!
So, as much as I hate to betray my loyal gang of gas station rebel wives, I have to admit, the husbands were right; just please don’t tell them I said that. Taking action and being well-fueled equips you for the unexpected things life throws your way.
A Better Option
Have you ever been stuck in an unexpected traffic jam on the highway with low fuel? It’s nerve-racking. You pray that you don’t run out of gas sitting on the interstate. A better option is to take action and fill up your tank so that you are safe and prepared for the unexpected.
“I pray that God, the source of hope, will FILL you completely with joy and peace because you trust him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit” -Romans 15:13