What lights are flashing on the dashboard of your heart?
November 9, 2017, 5:00 AM

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; And I will dwell[a] in the house of the Lord Forever. Psalm 23:1-6


I’ve heard it said that there are two types of people in this world. There are those individuals who see the “E” illuminated on their car’s dashboard and think, “I got this…I can drive 15 more miles easily.” They push their car to the limit and laugh in the face of danger. They are so bold that they have been known to pass a gas station in spite of the flashing light demanding their attention. And on occasion (sometimes even more than once), their luck runs out and they find themselves broken down on the side of the road. Then you have those who are the complete opposite. They see the gas gauge not even at the half-way point and think, “Oh my gosh…I need to fill-up…NOW!” As soon as they spot a gas station, they dart in, avoiding “disaster.”


When it comes to my wife and I and our routine “discussions” on this matter (especially when we have an important event we need to go to), I’m the daredevil and she is Mrs. Conservative. I’m so focused on getting from Point A to Point B that stopping to get gas slips my mind. I love to be in control, and hate to alter my plans.  She on the other hand, is the more sensible one who is willing to flex a little so that we don’t end up sitting on the side of the road.  In the grand scheme of things, forgetting to fill up your gas tank and staying in control is not that big of a deal. Neither is being flexible in your plans and always making sure the tank is topped off. Yet, when it comes to caring for our heart and leading our families, both approaches are dangerous.


As hard as it is for me to admit this, my heart tank often hits E, it putters on the fumes of the fumes. At this stage of life I find myself, with work and family responsibilities, running on empty alot.  I’m always going and going non-stop. There has indeed been no rest for the weary.  On top of this, worry keeps me up at night as I think through every possible scenario with the issues facing my family. Some of these issues seem earth shattering and yet I know we are blessed in ways I can’t comprehend. But, this still doesn’t stop me from trying to fix everything, control everything, and just get from point A to point B. If I’m not careful I can find myself trying to be everything for everyone, and that can lead to me thinking the world is all about me. My needs. My desires. My plans. But, it’s not.


In order to truly love and be present for my family, I need to rest. I show value to them by valuing time to care for myself. Scripture speaks about the importance of staying connected to Christ (John 15:1-17). It goes as far as saying that apart from Him I can accomplish a whole lot of nothing. But, by relying on Him, and looking to Him to guide my steps, I can be the type of husband and father my family deserves. I know this to be true, but like any good control freak, loosening that grip and relaxing doesn’t come naturally. This is why slowing down, resting and refueling provides me with an opportunity to grow and mature. My need to be in control, or at least foolishly thinking I am, doesn’t require any faith. Yet, God has different plans for my life and they always involve pushing me to deeper faith and dependence. So, today, I will stop and rest, how about you. What lights are flashing on the dashboard of your heart? Are you running on empty? Where are you pushing yourself too much in an effort to control your situation?


This is my Prayer: Father God, open my eyes to see that You are in control and I am not. Lord remind me that I show how much I care for others by first caring for my own soul. Jesus refuel me with Your love, grace, and mercy. Help me to simply be still.  In Your name, Jesus. Amen.