Running on Empty?

THE other day I noticed that my car's gas gauge was on empty. I stopped at the nearest gas station, but because I was in a hurry I took time only to put a couple of dollars worth of gas in the tank. The needle moved imperceptibly, and before I got home, the red light, showing I was low on gas, had come on again. I could see that I'd have been better off to take the time to fill up completely. I got to thinking about how many of us ``run on empty'' in terms of our spiritual fuel. If there were a red light for spiritual reserves, many of us might find it lighted a good deal of the time.

Even the master Christian, Christ Jesus, took time to renew his spiritual insights by communion with his Father-Mother, God. ``Jesus prayed; he withdrew from the material senses to refresh his heart with brighter, with spiritual views,''1 explains Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.

These spiritual views enabled the Master to heal the sick and sinning and to raise the dead. Understanding the allness of God's perfect creation enabled him to face and overcome the myriad hurts and illnesses of his fellowman.

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Gaining spiritual views of God and man can enable all of us to experience spiritual healing in our lives. Didn't Christ Jesus say, ``He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father''?2 Think of the freedom of such healing experience. Instead of praying only in a crisis, or just enough to get us through a problem, we can be praying for the great joy of worshiping and feeling close to God. This enables us to live with Christly authority.

``But that kind of praying will take time that I don't have!'' you might be protesting. Staying spiritually poised and strengthened does take effort and a commitment to steady prayer and study. But I've found that not allowing the press of mortal living to dictate how and when I pray has saved me time and disappointment in the long run.

At one point, for example, when our children were preschoolers and I felt overwhelmed with work, I was grabbing just enough spiritual inspiration to deal with one situation -- only to find that I was facing ten more. One day, a line from a hymn struck me with special impact: ``Give of your heart's rich overflow....''3 It became very clear that I had been petitioning God for one thing after another that I needed help with instead of praying to fill my heart with God's love. I could see that this approach was neither efficient nor effective. I resolved to begin a more regular study of the Bible and of the writings of Mrs. Eddy. I also devoted time simply to listening for God's guidance. I knew that by quietly listening, I could fill my thought with the inspiration that God is communicating to man.

The effect of this prayer was immediate. Several troubling illnesses in the family were quickly healed. It was as though we had stopped being beleaguered and defensive. I even found I could reach out with love to help others in need of healing.

If you feel as though you are ``running on empty'' spiritually, quiet, prayerful communion with God can refresh your spiritual views and fill you with powerful inspiration that heals. And as you make the effort to pray consistently, you will find a greater measure of strength and peace in your daily affairs. After all, God's reserves of inspiration are infinite, so nobody has to run on empty.

1Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 32. 2John 14:12. 3Christian Science Hymnal, No. 139.

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