Filling up the Tank

by Dale Reeves

Story Pastor


Even as the Russian invasion of Ukraine rages on, and as more than two million refugees have fled Ukraine since February 24, the hottest news item in America seems to be the rising cost of gasoline. With the massive spike increase of crude oil, gasoline prices across the country have reached an all-time high, and everyone is feeling pain at the pump. The previous high in America was in 2008. According to AAA, yesterday morning the average cost of a gallon of unleaded gas in Ohio was $4.09, and the national average was $4.32. The current average in California is $5.28.


The purpose of my blog today is not to share my opinions on all things political, and the causes for the current inflation we are experiencing at the pump. There is plenty of that information out there, and you have probably already read it, and have solidified your opinions even more. My purpose today is to ask you one simple question . . .


Is your tank full?


Your Emotional Tank

Just to be clear, I’m not talking about the actual gasoline that just put a big dent in your wallet, or perhaps even your plans for the weekend. I’m referring to your emotional tank. What kinds of things fuel you, and what kinds of things drain your energy?


This past Tuesday, our church staff spent much of our day walking through some very helpful training known as “Life in the Zone,” presented by our friend and trainer, Paul Carpenter. Some of you have taken this training in the past and it has helped you reduce some of the drama in your home and in your workplace. As a part of the training, you take a profile test that helps you discover your particular leadership style. After taking the profile test, you receive a bar graph that is depicted by the use of four colors that represent certain aspects that contribute to your emotional makeup. If a particular color rises above the 50% mark (known as the energy line), that means that those things “energize” you. For instance, I am highly energized with relationships and enough routine that contributes to a feeling of safety and stability for me. Other things in my life that do not rise above the energy line do the exact opposite. They don’t energize me, they suck the life out of me. One of those things are rigid rules. No surprise, there, huh? In my world, rules were made to be interpreted creatively.


So, can I ask you to think for a few moments today about your daily routines? Which things energize you and which things suck the life out of you? Leadership guru John Maxwell has famously said, “Once you discover your passion, and work within that passion, you will never work another day in your life.”


My Passions

I am currently very passionate about the training I received last year as a Grief Recovery Method specialist, and in working with some wonderful folks, I am seeing great benefits to what we are studying and learning together . . . which makes me even more passionate about this topic. If you spend any length of time with me these days no doubt you will hear me talk about the exploits of our four young grandchildren. Yes, there’s some work involved in teaching them, feeding them, spending time with them, and disciplining them when necessary. But I am passionate about them, and the reason I know this is that I am constantly talking about our amazing grandkids.


I am also very passionate about some upcoming travel opportunities with my wife, and her family (her parents, brothers, and sisters-in-law). We are currently planning some details for a trip that was postponed for two years due to COVID-19, and now we are busy watching videos, booking reservations, discussing opportunities, timelines, and deciding what “excursions” we want to do together. Yes, there’s some work involved in the planning (mostly NOT on my part), but the thought of it all energizes me. I’m happy just to show up (tell me where and when to be there, what I should be wearing, how much it’s going to cost, and when does the party start?).


What’s Your Passion?

I’m also very passionate about helping connect people to God and to one another, and doing whatever I can to be a helper in their life. Remember, relationships fuel me!


What about you? Last week in his message, Brad challenged people in our church to get connected to others in the community of faith, to demonstrate their love for each other by volunteering to lead in certain capacities, and by serving one another the way God has created us to do. I’m happy to report that after that message I had several people approach me and say, “I’m ready to jump in and serve where you need me. This is what I think I might like to do . . .” Can I tell you from a pastor’s perspective—we live for these kind of aha moments where people catch the vision of what it really means to walk out their faith by leading others in authentic community!


When you have a passion for something, it doesn’t seem like work, it’s not a chore, it’s not like pulling teeth. When you have a passion for something, it is a joy to be involved with because it doesn’t suck the life out of you—it actually energizes you, it fills you up!


I’m sorry I can’t do anything about the outrageous price you’re paying for gas at the pump, but if you want to talk about what keeps your emotional tank full, I’d love to have a conversation!


“Then the Son of Man came, enjoying life . . .”

—Matthew 11:19, Phillips


“A cheerful disposition is good for your health; gloom and doom leave you bone-tired.”

—Proverbs 17:22, The Message

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