Confessions of a fume runner

By Gerry Lewis | Published Wednesday, July 9, 2014

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Writing inspiration comes from all kinds of places and circumstances. I never know when something is going to spark an idea. That’s why I have an ever-growing list of “writing topics” that includes everything from blogs to books.

I suspect that the day I catch up with the list will be the day I go to spend eternity with the author of the greatest love story ever told.

Inspiration this week came at the gas pump. I actually pulled in to fill up when I still had half a tank remaining. As one who has on more than one occasion, pushed a gas-empty vehicle, I had to laugh at how my life and mind-set have changed.

I have spent much of my life in a hurry. Too many responsibilities … too many projects … too little time. I had to squeeze every possible mile out of a tank of gas because I didn’t have time to stop and fill up.

Prayer times were rushed because there was ministry to get to. I had to be constantly available because I was needed. I didn’t have time to sharpen my saw, for crying out loud, I was too busy cutting wood!

I couldn’t tell you exactly when the shift began to occur, but I can tell you that there came a time that I figured out that a dull saw doesn’t cut much wood, an empty gas tank won’t take you very far, and a busy person who is physically, emotionally, and spiritually exhausted is really not much good to anyone.

I wish I could say that I have it mastered. I do not. But, I am filling up more frequently. I’m making better use of my time. I am learning to say “no” to some good things, so that I can say “yes” to the best things.

And I am realizing that, sometimes, the best thing I can do for someone is to help them see that they are running on fumes and help them find some positive refueling strategies.

A few weeks ago, in a moment of inspiration, I tweeted, “We must stop wearing busyness as a badge of honor. Seriously. I mean it. It is killing us and it does not honor God. #breathingroom.”

Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29)

Our lives matter so much to God that He did not create us to be fume runners. Slow down. Take a few deep breaths. Connect deeply to Jesus. Fill up and get on the road again.

I want to invite all my readers to check out my new website: I am regularly adding new helpful content, and there is a special free gift available to everyone who subscribes to my newsletter.

Dr. Gerry Lewis, author, blogger, church consultant and leadership coach, serves as executive director of the Harvest Baptist Association headquartered in Decatur.

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