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  • Jered Stewart

Do You Need to Refuel Your Tank?

Running on empty…I remember when I was in high school my brother drove a 1979 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme. He was a few years older than I was, so he would often drive us to school. I remember one day we were driving to a basketball practice, and we ran out of gas and the car stopped running and we had to pull over by the side of the road. We had to walk to a nearby house and ask to use the phone. Remember those days before cell phones? That car didn’t have a fancy fuel gauge light, and once it got even close to “E” you never knew, you could run out of gas, and sure enough we did.

New cars these days will tell you how many miles you have left before you’re out of gas. And I know there are two types of people in the world. Those who fill up as soon as they get below ½ tank, and those that like to roll the dice and see how far they can go with the light on yellow. Does “zero” really mean zero miles left? I wonder if we can squeeze out a few more miles….do people ever run out of gas anymore?

The last couple of years have been quite a grind, especially for those in the workplace. Those who do show up to work are often overworked because their company is understaffed. At Bethany we’re fortunate to have a great team of staff members, but it hasn’t been an easy time. I think many of us have felt like we are running on empty. And some of us push ourselves until that yellow light has been on for a while. It seems the people who have shown up are running on empty.

As humans we aren’t designed with a built-in mileage indicator or fuel gauge. There is no yellow light that turns on to let us know that we’re getting low, and that we probably need to get some rest, sleep a little more, or take a vacation. Some of us keep going until we run completely out, and then our bodies take over as our immune systems run low, we catch a cold, or the flu and end up out of commission. Sometimes I think we all need to do a better job and watching for those signs that we’re about to run out of gas. And just like with cars, we all work better when we’re tuned up and have a full tank of gas.

As we move into the dreadful late winter months, my word of advice this month is to be more self-aware regarding your fuel tank. Do you feel filled up and ready to go? Are you close to half empty (or full for the optimists)? Or are you getting dangerously close to the E? It might be past time to take a break, fuel up, and then get back on the road.

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”

- Anne Lamott

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