Have you ever driven your car somewhere on empty? I know I have. It’s not something that I particularly relish doing at any time, but it has happened. I’m the kind of driver that tends to lean towards the side of keeping the tank full as much as possible. My wife, when we met was one of those people who was the complete opposite and would often test the limits of how far she could run a car on empty. This wasn’t out of some sense of thrill seeking or anything. It was mostly because during an early period of our relationship, finances were not one of those things we had completely managed well.
Having gone on several trips over the years, you learn a few things about running on empty that doesn’t just apply to cars. Here are a few things that I’ve learned and why I recommend that no one test the limits of running on empty:
Risks to Safety: If you recall this past winter, a snowstorm hit Kentucky, which left motorists stranded on the highway for nearly 24 hours. The first thing that comes to mind when it comes to running on empty is the risks to safety. If you just think of the personal safety risks that are involved in a situation like being stranded on the highway with an empty tank, that alone should scare the life out of you. You never know who means well to you on the road. If the cars lack of gas is the least of your concerns, you still have to consider that there is still the climate and availability of other resources like restrooms, food and ability to communicate with others. I flip out when my cell phone battery gets too low. Why would I want my car or anything else to be running on empty?
Risks to Physical Health: From a health perspective, there are other ways to run on empty. Your body, like your car needs fuel to keep functioning at an optimum. Living with Sickle Cell Anemia has taught me time and again the necessity of making sure that I eat well and eat often. Running on empty physically lowers your immune system from being able to fight off diseases or help you to convert essential nutrients properly. Your mind slows down, and your body breaks down faster when you haven’t given the proper attention to your personal health.
Risks to Emotional/Spiritual Health: Emotional health suffers likewise when you don’t fuel your mind and spirit regularly. I know from personal experience that when I’m not feeding my spirit or my mind, I am less creative and less apt to think clearly. I also know that when I’ve seen others who are emotionally or spiritually empty, they can have outbursts that cause them to not be someone you’d want to be around.
Risks to Relationships: If being emotionally or spiritually empty isn’t enough to create conflict in a relationship, being financially empty can leave you sitting on the side of the road without anyone to look to. Proverbs 19:4 says “Wealth attracts many friends, but a poor man is separated from his friends (Proverbs 19:4 HCSB).” This verse clearly points out the reality of how great of a strain a lack of finances can be on relationships when you are fiscally running on empty. If all the statistics of broken marriages due to issues over money wasn’t enough, this timeless proverb should bring it home for you.
At the end of the day, you really should work to keep your tanks as close to full as often as you can. Whether it is your gas tank, love tank, your stomach, or your emotional tank, you have to come to the conclusion that you are always better when you are closer to full than you’ll ever be empty. You have more to offer and you function better when you charged up and ready to go, than you’ll ever be if you’re tapped out.
QUESTION: What lessons have you learned when it comes to running on empty?
- Who Is at Risk for Sickle Cell Disease? (colouredjustice.wordpress.com)
- Are Walnuts An Obsession For You or Are You Just Nuts? (apreachaskid.wordpress.com)