Deep Waters And Jesus Fumes
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Deep Waters And Jesus Fumes

Running on empty is exhausting and it doesn't work.

Deep Waters And Jesus Fumes

I had one of those realizations the other day that hits you right between the eyes. I was a few weeks into summer classes and had a little more free time on my hands, but I could not figure out for the life of me why I felt so empty. Like a plant that gets forgotten in the corner for too long and is deprived of water and sunshine.

I was enjoying those classes and my first year of grad school had been going so well. This was my road to walk, right? I should feel full and whole, not empty and broken. I'm talking about that emptiness and brokenness that originates somewhere in your core self, your authentic self that drives you, asks you to step forward in the face of fear, and sometimes really surprises you. Then I realized that I had missed something vitality important. I had not been paying close attention to that authentic self and had forgotten to give it some time outside in the warmth. I had forgotten to let it rain. You guys know what I'm talking about; that fullness you feel and live out of when you've come back from a time of rest and recharging. Reality doesn't matter and it doesn't get to barge in, at least for a little while. That stillness and awareness of a peace that you haven't known in a long time.

A few friends and I decided to take a little road trip several years back, and we ended up in the middle of nowhere on some country road in Missouri. I mean, the roads didn't even have signs anymore. I look back, and I honestly do not know what turns we took or how we got there, but we were about as far from a gas station as we could possibly be. The gas light turned on and stared us down with vengeance like we had hurt its feelings. After doing the math, we knew we couldn't turn around at that point and go back to find a station we had passed because then we risked getting stranded even farther from our destination. Then the last cell phone battery died, hammering in the final nail in our sad road trip coffin. Awesome. Somehow, by some miracle that I have yet to explain or understand, we made it all the way there, almost two hours after the car should have died. We called it our road trip on Jesus fumes, because nothing else made sense.

Jesus fumes. I think about that trip a lot when I feel like I did a few weeks ago. Running on empty, pulling from the depths of my being just to make it to the next gas station. I am that person that tries to run the marathon of life without stopping and looking around. I refuse the cups of water and orange slices offered to me, because then I would appear weak and dependent. Heaven forbid we lean into other people or ask for help, right? Heaven forbid we take time to rest and think back on how far we've come.

I recently read Rob Bell's new book How To Be Here. Even by referencing a Bell book, I might lose some of you that disagreed with the theology of his last piece, Love Wins, but I challenge you to stay with me. One book shouldn't completely write off an author's future work. In How To Be Here, Bell does an incredible job confronting the issue of people wishing away and not living their lives. Towards the end of the book, he talks about "where the waters run deep" in all of us.

"Sometimes this place is overflowing with life, and sometimes it feels drained and empty. Certain actions and ways of life choke it and starve it and smother it; others cause it to hum with vitality."

What are you doing to take care of your deep waters? Are you running a marathon without asking for or even accepting support? If you know Jesus, are you allowing Him to carry the burdens that are way over your head? Are you taking on a role that was never yours to shoulder in the first place? In doing my own deep water work, I discovered a major problem. In the world we live in today, failure and weakness are viewed as character flaws. We fear being seen as less than, incapable, or flawed. Guess what? We are some times! Remember, you're a human being, not a fictional superhero in a comic strip. And that's okay. Take a breath.

I can feel my own chest tighten just at the thought of being seen as weak. I've willingly taken on roles that I knew would I would feel inferior in, but I wasn't going to own up to that or ask anyone for help. What would it look like if we sat down for a second, inhaled truth, then exhaled all of the lies we've allowed into our authentic spaces? Own your humanness because it's what makes you, you. I wonder what kind of freedom we could begin to know then? Jesus fumes might just be the trick.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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