The Endless Tank-Ends!

Posted by Richard Harris | | Posted On Friday, May 21, 2010 at 2:21 AM

need to let you know some things about myself, one I am male, two I am a born Texan and three I am Baptist. What that means is this, one I am a bit hard headed, two I love to grill and three I know better but don’t always do better. With that in mind I think you will understand what comes next.

About a year ago I received as a gift an awesome grill. It comes with everything a guy likes to have with a grill. Three good flames, a large cooking area, and even some cooking space on the side for smaller items, it has it all. Of course this comes with a butane tank, no messing around with messy charcoal here.

Back in December I ran out of butane so I went to the local gas station and exchanged my old tank for a new one. At that time I could have gotten an extra one to have around the house in case of emergencies but chose not to, who needs to spend that money, right?

In Texas you can grill almost all year long. So we have been running on that same tank for a good while. I kept telling my wife how impressed I was that we were still on the same tank. I just could not believe it.

In the back of my mind though I knew that one day I was going to run out right in the middle of cooking dinner. Or even worse I was going to have guest over and while they were waiting on burgers to be cooked my tank would run out and I would be in big trouble. But it just kept going and I just kept putting it off. I treated this butane tank like it would never go out while in the back of my mind knowing the day was coming when it would.

Guess what it finally did. Right in the middle of cooking about 12 pork chops the tank runs dry and there is no back up to be had. Guess what, many of us run our spiritual life like I run my grill life, as if the spiritual tank is never going to run out. Don’t fool yourself it will.

We go to a camp, a retreat, join a church or experience some other kind of spiritual mountain top experience. Our tank is filled to the top and we think this will never end.

Then we start to live out our lives but instead of working on keeping the tank filled by taking care of the spiritual disciplines like prayer, study and worship we get a little complacent. What happens is we start to use up the reserve.

At first we don’t even notice it. But like me and my grill after a while we start to notice some emptying of the tank, we know we need to do something about it but we just don’t get it done. Our stubbornness gets in the way.

Let me assure you the tank never runs dry at an opportune time. Normally we notice we have run dry during a crisis moment. We reach back for our spiritual reserve and it just is not there. The tank runs dry and there is no back up in sight. Not a good time.

When I waited on the refilled tank it cost the family an extra thirty minutes waiting on dinner. When we have to recharge our spiritual tank it can be much more costly than just some lost time. Trust me letting the tank run low is much too risky.

Want to keep the flame burning, here are two ways:

  1. Take care of the little things. Spend time in the word, fellowship with other believers often and spend time in prayer daily. We live in a big event world, one that depends on the spectacular to fill our tanks. While some of these events can be good only the disciplines will keep the tank filled when you come off the mountain top experience.
  2. Serve. Service challenges you and shows you God’s activity in your life and in the world around you. For example what good is my butane tank on my grill if I never throw any food on it to cook? Spiritually speaking a filled tank is meant to share, service allows you to do that.

Do you have that nagging feeling that the tank is running dry? Is the flame not quite as bright as before? Don’t wait too late; you might get caught with an uncooked dinner on the grill, or in reality much worse and the answer will not be as easy as going to your local gas station.

Scripture: Matthew 5:6, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”

John 6:27, “Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”

Prayer: Dear Lord, Help us to pay attention to our spiritual health in the midst of the distractions of life. Guide us to be disciplined and to feed ourselves on your word. Forgive us where we fail you and we thank you for your grace. We ask all these things in the name of Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.

all simple/truths are written by richard harris

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