• Running On Empty?

Posted by: kidhelper on Monday, November 19th, 2012

Running On Empty?

Have you ever run out of gas? I must confess that I have several times! Once I exhausted my supply on the way into the driveway of the service station. I pushed the car into the pumps for relief. And I have walked a few miles only to walk back with a gallon of gas, to make it further on my journey. These moments are instructive, there is always some good reason, but the result is the same—running out of gas can be a costly risk.

I began thinking about this metaphor and how it relates to leadership. We can be so busy caring for others that we neglect ourselves. It is easy to take exhaustive chances with our own body that we neglect proper eating, enough sleep or even rest and relaxation. What is it like not to read, write, meditate and pray? We can neglect the things that rightly keep us going or we can choose to renew the vigor and vitality of our ministry. Running on empty is a crisis waiting to happen. Sooner or later, we are running on mere fumes with nothing left in the tank!  What are the things that replenish our exhausted efforts? Would it be eating, sleeping, a shower, traveling, day at the beach, shopping, laughter, reading a book, working on a hobby or just doing nothing?

Coaching can involve a process whereby you might just have to recalibrate your personal life to match the rigors of your ministry leadership. One is related to the other. This issue comes up when a protégé asks questions about “needing balance.” How can one balance family and ministry? If you are an “all or nothing” kind of leader, this is a really serious question, because too much of any one thing, excludes other important things, that can too easily pile up to become the next demanding crisis.

Here are some red-light indicators that you might be “Running on Empty?

  1. You might not be getting enough  sleep. You are always tired.
  2. Eating too quickly, on the run, on the go. You do not really enjoy some conversation over a meal.
  3. You have no time for friends, just to hang out, watch a movie, or eat out.
  4. You have little time for hobbies, interests or fun. It is all work.
  5. You seem driven, like you have to be doing something all the time.
  6. You feel guilty, if you are not doing something productive, like your “To Do” List.
  7. You have not enjoyed a date night with your mate in weeks, too busy!
  8. You bring your work home with you, and fuss with those who want any kind of time with you. You feel they are interrupting your agenda.
  9. You have given up reading a book all the way through. You cannot sit still  to absorb the thoughts of others.
  10. You have not had either a day off or a day away in a long time, months?

All these and more are red-light warnings that your fuel gauge is getting low and you are “running on empty.” Fuel up!

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