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What Are You Running On?

  • 2010 14 Jun
What Are You Running On?

My car died. It did a herky-jerky sort of death throws dance, let out a hideous grumbling moan, and died. Too late I realized what was wrong. In my frenzy to get where I needed to be, I had put diesel in my gas-powered car, and now it was dead.

I see hauntingly familiar dance moves in my home. Sarcastic comments when someone's question annoys one's superiority complex. Bickering barbs thrown at each other over miniscule offenses. One person in this room. Another in that one. Four people spread to the winds. The herky jerky movements of a family not running well. In the frenzy of getting where we have to be, we have carelessly overlooked what gets us there. These are the beginning of the death throws of cherished relationships, values, and heritage.

I know exactly what to do.

When my car sat dead on the side of the road, my uncle came to my rescue. He drained the useless diesel, filled it with the right fuel, and patiently primed the carborator until the system was fully infused with the right gas. With my uncle's patience and attention, the dead car bumbled and gurgled back to life. With a bit of time and care, the motor purred beautifully, and I was again on my way to where I needed to be.

I go to my True Power Source. "Lord, remove from us anything that is driving us away from you, that is killing what is important to you. Show us how to refuel with you, what is needed to run smoothly, where love has been exchanged for the lie."

I stare at the priorities on the calendar and in my heart, and I listen…my white out tape in my hand, the blood of Jesus in His.

Too many trips for coffee with friends…and not enough painting nails with the daughter in need of sharing her heart. Unnecessary time on Facebook, and not enough time face to face with the other half of me making sure we are whole. Time to let go of the latest best seller and play Legos with the man in the making we are growing down the hall.

At first the list is obvious and easy. Joyfully I erase activities, rearrange plans, and create white space on the calendar. When I am done, the Lord speaks—His words not so easy.

"Do not give school the first fruits of your day. Give them to me. Worship me. Sing praises to me. Write your gratitude prayers. Take in my Word."

I groan silently to the world, loudly to the Lord. That will push school back nearly an hour.

"Instead of merely filling their brains, ask me how to fill their hearts. All man's knowledge will be a snare if they don't have my wisdom to wield it well. Take a walk…and listen. They want to know you and be known. They are learning from you that I want to know them deeply. Teach them well.

"Turn off the TV and the computer and turn to me. Open my Word and open your hearts…to me and each other."

When He is done, the staggering death march has become an exuberant dance…the kind people do when they are filled with the joy of the Lord, rejoicing in His presence and loving each other.

And that is right where He wants them to be.

*This article published on June 14, 2010.

Jerri Phillips is a wife, mom, writer, speaker, and passionate worshipper of the Lord Jesus Christ. To find out more about her amazing adventure with the God of the universe, visit her blog at