Rachel Dotzler – Mesa Junior High Pastor
I love driving on road trips. Something I have recently discovered about myself is that I love taking road trips by myself. It’s exhilarating. You can listen to whatever music and books you want without being interrupted, you can make pitstops whenever you wish, and best of all, you can sing out loud without being judged. Every driver eventually gets to a point when driving where a little light flashes in front of you calling for your attention. It’s a light we are all familiar with and we soon follow with the words “I need gas!” Depending on where you are, some say it frantically or for some its a mere observation. We probably have all witnessed someone on the side of the road pushing their car to the nearest gas station because they tried to run on empty for a bit too long. Perhaps this has been you at some point and for that I am sorry, no fun! However, part of me says, “How on earth did you run out of gas?” We get notified thanks to these incredible machines we drive around, but why do we choose to ignore the signs that we are running out of gas and try to see how far we can get before it’s too late?
Confession: this has been my journey these past few weeks. No, not literally running out of gas in my lovely, white, two door Honda Civic, but I, blonde hair, blue eyes Rachel Dotzler, have been running on empty these past few weeks. “What? You’re a youth pastor! How can you be running on empty when your job is GOD!?” Yes, that was a real response that I may or may not have exaggerated. There are parts of me that are tired, tired of doing good, tired of picking up my Bible, just tired. That’s hard for me to admit, but I know for many of us this is true at some point in our lives. A friend of mine reminded me of this quote last week by a guy named Wayne Cordeiro. He says,
“We don’t forget that we are Christians. We forget that we are human, and that one oversight alone can debilitate the potential of our future.”
Human. Christian. We who believe in Jesus Christ and have a relationship with him are both. We have to fuel both, because if we don’t, we will be left running on empty, looking for people to push us to the nearest gas station, pushing us to the nearest thing that will make us happy, but only for a short time until we run low again or run out. God has given us hobbies that we love, strengths that we have in this world that he wants us to use! I love to write, whether that is blogging or one day, with prayer and by the grace of God, write a book. I love stories, which is a combination of me reading novels and watching movies. I adore both, but I can’t remember the last time I did any of these things. I love to travel and see the beauty God has created in this world, but I don’t travel enough. What gifts or enjoyments of this world has God blessed you with? What fuels you and gets you energetic about life? Whatever it is, do it! God has blessed us with abilities, hobbies, and little pleasures of this world that He doesn’t want us to miss out on, just as long as He comes first in it all, praising Him, seeking Him, and calling on the Holy Spirit to guide us through this life so that we can live for Him and only Him.
I don’t know if you know this or not, but we literally have the POWER of God living inside of us. For all who believe in God and have claimed that truth in their life, we literally have the Holy Spirit living inside of us. This is crazy, awesome news! God has given himself to us, has made Himself available to us! Have we made ourselves available to Him? This is something that I have to constantly be reminded of, that I can call on the Holy Spirit that is inside of me to pick me back up, to give me strength, and to revive me to carry on in this world. We are in a full on war of good and evil and we will become tired, but by the power of God living in us, we can literally do and go through anything this world throws at us. Galations 6:9 says,
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
I hope this is as much as a reminder to you as it is for me. Stop running on empty. Don’t wait to see how long you can last. Don’t give up. If you are in a season of being tired, like me, remember why the Holy Spirit exists and that He should be the one fueling your life first and foremost.