Written by Rose Ennin 

It’s quite embarrassing to admit, but I have had more than one encounter where my car suddenly stopped moving right in the middle of street. Thankfully, both happened on not-so-busy streets. In these instances I immediately realized what the problem was—you see, I’ve been somewhat of a risk taker, seeing how far I could drive as my dashboard signalled the flashing “empty tank” icon. It’s gotten to the point where I can calculate how many kilometers I can travel before I need to really fill up.  

To be completely honest, in those instances it wasn’t that I didn’t have money on me, I just got used to putting it off because I “knew” I had time left to get gas. But what happens when you overestimate the time and mileage? Well, you embarrassingly get out of your car and try to hail down someone who can help you get this now immobile car to the nearest gas station.  

Sadly enough, a simple task that would have taken no more than five minutes suddenly becomes a costly ordeal. How far can you really go when the very thing driving you runs out of fuel? Suddenly those things that seemed more urgent pale in comparison to what is truly essential and needs your utmost attention.  

I remembered this because I find myself at it again. No, I’m not stuck in my car on the middle of the street, but if I can be honest I have been feeling stuck in my mind in the middle of my journey. Towards the end of last year I experienced a burn out. As a result, I was not as productive as I needed to be. I had found myself easily distracted and avoiding what I needed to be concentrating on. My perspective became clouded, and all I could see was difficulty in every task I needed to complete. It overshadowed my ability to accomplish meaningful work.  

After many weeks of denying what was going on, I needed to stop myself and ask what was going on?! I decided to look back at my journal and re-read some of my older entries around the time when I was cruising down the highway of life. 

I realized in that cruising time I was consciously and consistently fuelling myself daily with the Word of God and prayer. I had a more realistic and responsible response to the signals that would flash on the dashboard of my life. For instance, when I had a discouraging moment, the Word of God that was in me could quickly discern and separate it from myself and keep on moving forward in faith.  

However, when you fail to be consistent in fuelling yourself, the vehicle of your life will begin to slow down. Suddenly, discouraging moments cause you to second guess if it’s a true reflection of you. You begin to discredit your ability and ingenuity. Next thing you know, you stop moving completely, opting to avoid the very thing you have invested in, because Heck! Whats the point in even trying? 

I reached that point in just a few short weeks. In reflecting upon this in a new year, I have learned that I wasn’t truly loving myself by removing myself from the place of true love, the love of God. Jesus tells us to love others as we love ourselves. Well, how can I love others if I don’t first learn to love myself? More importantly, how can I love myself if I don’t first allow God’s love to shower over me in the form of His Word and communicating with Him daily? 

God’s word is not just something I read so I can check it off my list of Christian things to do, it is so much more than that. It’s the fuel that keeps us moving (not coffee, as much as I can admit I like it). Spending time with God in prayer and in His Word will move you back to life and not death, get you back to moving in grace instead of being stagnant in fear. 

 “He energizes those who get tired,
    gives fresh strength to dropouts.
For even young people tire and drop out,
   young folk in their prime stumble and fall.
But those who wait upon  God  get fresh strength.
  They spread their wings and soar like eagles,
They run and don’t get tired,
  they walk and don’t lag behind.” – Isaiah 40:31 

From a bundle of Roses held together by God’s grace & peace (literally).   

Challenge: If you want this year to go differently than previous years, resolve to make Him first and see what ground you really gain in your life!