Michel: It’s tough to get anywhere when running on empty

Published 12:10 am Saturday, June 4, 2016

Despite my best intentions to keep things simple and stress-free, ironing out the details for my daughter Elise’s July wedding is beginning to challenge me.

She recently had her bridal portrait taken and before going to bed that night, I flashed back many years to an experience that took place after I had dropped Elise and her sister Victoria off at Vacation Bible School. The memory provided a timely prompt to adjust my priorities.

I was riding along Airline Highway when suddenly I couldn’t accelerate. Warning lights that I never knew existed started glowing on the dashboard. The steering wheel was very hard to turn, but I managed to turn onto the street that leads to the hospital.

Then, the brakes wouldn’t work. I finally coasted to a complete stop. Every warning light was now lit.

Within minutes, I had alerted the service department at the dealership. While waiting for the tow truck, I called my husband, Michael, and interrupted his business meeting in Alabama.

I just thought that he would want to be kept abreast of everything that occurred while he was away. Finally, I phoned my son, Geoff, to tell him that I would be a little late getting home. “You know, Mom, you were low on gas,” Geoff suggested as he heard the news.

“True, but that couldn’t possibly be the problem because EVERYTHING shut down,” I reasoned.

I can only imagine Geoff’s ultra calm demeanor as he continued, “But, Mom, you need gas for everything to work. The car runs on gas.”

“Geoff, surely something would work even if there was no gas. You don’t understand what I’m saying. ALL of the lights came on. The brakes, the steering wheel, the accelerator, everything just quit on me. How could every part of this vehicle shut down just because I’m out of gas?”

I hung up the phone thinking that Geoff was just too young to understand such things. I decided, however, to test the ‘no fuel’ theory. I called my sister, Kay, who called her husband, Tony, who arrived within minutes. He put gas into the dry tank, turned the key and I was back in business.

Every part of the car was now in full working order because it now had the fuel that was necessary for it to run.

As I drove home, I thought about how stressed out I get when I try to run on empty. For me, all of the parts of my life are kept in working order by the God Who created me, and I am energized and fueled by Him as I pray and read His Word.

Church attendance is only the tip of the iceberg. I once read that only 20 percent of an iceberg is visible. The rest is underwater. The main part of my relationship with God is unseen, and it’s there in the quiet moments that I am strengthened.

My devotional time is vital. To say that I don’t have time to pray and read and listen for the voice of My Father would be as ridiculous as to say that I’m going on a very long trip and I just don’t have time to put gas in the car.

I’m fully convinced that all of the parts of my life will function together as a unit only as I submit myself to God’s Will and seek His Face daily.

With Him, all things are possible; without Him, I can do nothing.

Ronny Michel may be reached at rmichel@rtconline.com.