Friday, February 12, 2010

Running on Empty

The “brown bomber”, was a 1984 brown Buick Century, and had become a member of our family days after it rolled off the assembly line. It had taken us on family road trips, to and from holiday gatherings, and to school each morning. After years of faithful service my mom and dad got an upgrade, and I, a poor college freshman, was blessed with a free mode of transportation. MY FIRST CAR!!! I liked the bomber, but it had to be personalized. He was mine after all. I dubbed him Hadji, primarily because I am an avid Jonny Quest fan, and this car, much like the character, seemed wise and all knowing. He had an AM radio, no cassette or CD player, and a transmission that would take you from 0 to 45 in about 6 minutes. The headliner had been torn out after years of sagging, so the roof of the interior was reduced to nothing more than metal and foam insulation. This car let me tell you, was a looker.

There were also certain rules about taking care of Hadji. The latch that held the hood of the car in place had broken. Once Hadj reached maximum speed of about 55 mph the hood would pop up, so you had to watch it. The radio only worked when the headlights were on. The transmission, still kicking after 15 years, slipped, and when it did you had to back your foot off the gas and stomp back down again. Last, but not least, Hadji needed A LOT of oil. Every morning before I took him out I would raise the hood, which was already popped courtesy of the broken latch, and put in a quart of 10W 30. You had to do this, because if you didn’t Hadji would throw a bearing rod and the engine would be shot, or least that’s what my daddy told me. Now I didn’t know a bearing rod from a hole in the ground, but I did know enough about cars to know that the engine kept things going. No oil, no engine, no driving. PERIOD.

I took care of Hadji, and gave him oil every day. We were together for two happy and mile filled years. Then, tragedy. Someone stole Hadji from outside of my college apartment. They, unlike me, didn’t know all of Hadji’s quirks. They didn’t get the memo about the oil, and when we finally got to Hadj he was running on empty and had thrown a bearing rod. Kaput. No oil, no engine, no driving.

Now, I know what happens to an engine when it’s all tapped out, but are we any different? As Christians we need a fill up every now and then, something to keep us from breaking down. Maintenance for the Christian doesn’t come from Valvoline, but we still need daily maintenance. Through prayer and study we should not only be checking our oil levels, we should be making sure we have enough to keep us driving. Maybe, like me, you’ve been in a period of life where it always seems like SOMETHING is pulling you away from checking your oil levels. There are a lot of things in this life that can steal our souls and leave us broken down and waiting for a tow. We are literally moments away from throwing a bearing rod. Are you with me? Today I encourage you to take a moment and check under your engine. Maybe you’re doing ok, and you just need a tune up. Maybe you’re running low on oil, so it’s time to fill up. In either case God is waiting for you, and he will be there, oil in hand, ready to make sure you’re not running on empty.

Verse of the Day: “You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.” Psalm 45:7

1 comment:

  1. I love how you connect wonderful life stories to God's word.