Monday, November 1, 2010

Life is better, now that I'm not a car

I have been blessed to be in healthy churches with good teaching for the last 25 years. As a Youth Pastor's wife, I have been to summer camp more times than the average person--and the camps that I have attended have consistently had really good teaching. I have attended Women of Faith 6 times and many other women's events and retreats that have had best selling authors as the speakers.
This has been such a tremendous blessing in my life and I count it all to the credit of Christ and his provision in my life. Looking back at this abundance of solid teaching in my life, I recently realized something remarkable: I am not a car. I am not a SUV, a minivan or a luxury sedan. I am definitely not a hybrid. 
I have recently realized that I've spent a major portion of my life as a believer behaving more like a car than a person.
I have a VW Beetle and about once a week I go to the gas station near my house and I attach the hose and fill my tank with gas. When I am really on top of the situation, I even take the hose out of the tank before I drive away from the pump. My car is full. It will now take me around town with the exact same horsepower the entire time, whether its gage says it has a half a tank or a quarter of a tank. It doesn't care if the last time I put gas in the tank was on Saturday, it will travel just a faithfully on Tuesday.
But, I am not a car. I need fuel everyday. I need 8 glasses of water every day. If I drink 8 glasses today, I still need to drink 8 glasses tomorrow. And the next day, I need 8 more. I don't store my water on Sunday and wait until the following Sunday for more water. If I were to do that, my lips would get chapped, my skin would get pasty and my joints would get achy. I need water to keep me going through my day, and if I get a little dehydrated, I can't make it up tomorrow. Tomorrow has its own 8 glasses to drink.
But, in my spiritual life, I had developed a habit to try and store up the good stuff and keep going on that. Unintentionally, but certainly, not for lack of knowing the right thing to do, I have spent too many days trying to get by on what was put in the tank over the weekend.
It's not that I haven't been in Bible studies, because I have. But, sadly, they would often become a task to complete. "Fold the clothes, empty the dishwasher, do chapter 3..."
At some point in my life, I stopped depending on the bible for the power that I needed.
I am not sure that this is something that I should be testifying to, because it is certainly not something that others should aim for. I wish I could say that I have been more faithful in allowing God to speak to me every single day through his word. I wish I could say that I had never been distracted in my walk to put my faith, ever so slightly, in other things. I wish I had more of the Bible committed to memory because I had spent more time reading it and absorbing it.
I won't beat myself up about that now. What good would that do? Would it change the hours that I spent filled with anxiety? Would it answer the questions that are no longer there?
I am just glad that I now understand my thirst.
In August, my friend, Rachel Collins was speaking at an event. She was talking about digging deeper into God's word and she said, "Don't be too lazy to sit down and read your Bible". I cannot tell you how many times that has been repeated in my head. While doing the some of the crazy things I do when I am home alone, I've heard her voice and stopped what I was doing and went and sat down--to avoid being lazy.
The good news is that now that I am not living like a car, life is better. When I am in the place to hear a great speaker--every point has more meaning and less of a need to carry me for days. Sometimes, I am still hit in the morning with a surge of anxiety that grabs my stomach and feels like it won't let go. But, I open my Bible and begin to read the words of Jesus and literally drink the living water and the grip lessens, the fears subside. I find myself craving this water and I hope that thirst never goes away.