Running On Empty

Running On Empty

Fall is here. Lately, many of my friends have expressed how tired they are. Some of them feel overwhelmed with how busy they are. And it seems like the pressure is growing. Certainly the start of school brings an element of “busy” that is not present in the summertime, but after we settle into a routine, that rushed feeling usually passes.

This year, the pace seems faster and more frantic. Have you been feeling it too? Do you feel overwhelmed?
Part of it is our accessibility. There is never a time where we’re completely able to “shut down” or shut it all off. Between email notifications, texts and videos and pictures being messaged to us, Twitter and Facebook and Instagram updates, we’re constantly being fed without a break.

Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary.”
In the Message translation, Matthew 11:28-30 reads as follows:
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Some of our weariness comes from saying “yes” to very good things that aren’t a very good fit for right now. Or, too many good things. Instead of worrying that it won’t get done if we don’t do it all, we need to rely on God to take care of things and ask Him where we fit into that picture. Where does God want me to put my time and energy right now?

That can be a difficult question to ask, because we don’t always want to hear the answer. We like what we’re doing, but it’s leaving us tired and frantic and empty, and it’s not really bringing the fulfillment we are searching for.

“The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
    I will protect those who trust in my name.
When they call on me, I will answer;
    I will be with them in trouble.
    I will rescue and honor them.
I will reward them with a long life
    and give them my salvation.”
Psalm 90:14-16 (NIV)

I’m going to challenge us to see if this makes a difference: for the next few days, if we find a verse on our Social Media or in our email that feeds us, we are going to write it down. Not print it out on a laserjet.
Write. It. Down.
Or, write the reference down and then look it up in a paper Bible.

(Have you noticed the difference between reading a paper book and scrolling on a tablet? There’s something different about the experience of paper and ink.)

I’m encouraging us to have a tangible connection to God instead of a digital one. This doesn’t mean that the digital isn’t feeding us. I start my day with and a chapter of Psalms, and I copy and paste into a Facebook group. It’s feeding me. But, I think we’re longing for our senses to really be stimulated. We want to touch God, to take in His Word. And by writing it down or physically opening our Bibles, we are going to be making a tangible connection to that promise. Something we can “hold on to” to strengthen us. Ultimately, I hope that Word commits itself to our memories and that we can call it to mind when we’re in a crisis.


Sisters, this is meant to strengthen and encourage, not guilt or burden us further. I believe God wants us to no longer be running on empty, but running on a full tank, with joy and fervor! That we’d be able to use our passions for His glory and really find energy and strength in what we are doing.
I’ll be committing to this challenge too, and if you would like, find a verse that really gives you strength. I know these two passages are rich. Find a translation you enjoy, or search a few and see how they differ. (The internet is a great resource for this, but please remember to write it down instead of just clicking “print”!)



Photo credit:
“King James Bible 1772 – Psalm 90” by Oxford University, Oxford, England – / Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston, Massachusetts. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons –

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