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A full tank - fueled for the day

When my BBQ grill runs out of propane, it is usually right in the middle of cooking something like chicken or steak. There I sit, expecting a tasty BBQ meal and then at about halfway through, I have to improvise by bringing it all inside and cooking it on the stovetop. What a disappointment it is when the flames 'burn out'. In our spiritual life, our flame can burn out if it isn't kept fueled and ready for use. Just a little fuel is not enough - it can leave you 'improvising' life - and we all know improvised life isn't as good at the one 'finished well'!

Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality. (Romans 12:12)

How is it you keep yourself fueled and aflame? I know some like to get away to that special spot in the woods, just taking in nature for a while. Others appreciate a great family gathering, complete with card games and good food, where laughter abounds and the 'bragging rights' of being the best at canasta or euchre is something we know isn't a 'pride thing', but a way of having a little fun with the sibs. Another may feel a special 'infilling' of God's best just by taking a long walk, feeding a few ducks along the canal, and observing the beauty of the trees in full bloom. 

Fuel is found in a lot of things, but there is one fuel that never burns out - the fuel of the Word. We need to take it in regularly, so we remain fueled for the 'fire' of life. We also find fuel in times of contemplative prayer - those times when we just let our mind wander in God's presence - allowing him to speak into us and embracing his peace as it envelopes our lives. Listen to a long play list of your favorite worship songs and see what it does for your spirit. It will refuel you without you even realizing it - little bits and pieces of those songs speaking something deep into your spirit. 

Keep yourself fueled - this suggests to us that there is an active participation in us remaining fueled. It doesn't happen by osmosis. We just don't sit and expect to be refueled. We open the Word of God, get into it, come across passages we don't really understand, and then we ask God to show us the meaning. We dig out the dictionary and discover the various meanings of the words used. We allow God to open his Word to us and to break us open with it, as well. We take time to admit our sin, seek his forgiveness, and listen intently as he breaks chains in our lives. Keep means we don't let up - ever!

Be alert and cheerfully expectant. If I am waiting for a delivery from Amazon, I am 'alert' to the sounds of the idling engine outside by the curb and the footsteps of the one coming to the door. If I am not expecting anything that day, my level of alertness to the 'street noises' is different. I am not 'on alert' because there is nothing expected. Part of keeping ourselves fueled is living with an expectation of receiving something each day - of being filled over and over again - so we are ready for the day. Expectant people find they aren't disappointed in his presence. For it is there they find filling for their 'tank' that is unlike any other 'fuel'. Just sayin!

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