With a race coming up I’m practicing some of my runs without fueling beforehand. It’s not with any of my long runs, just the short ones. The reason I’m taking on this strategy is because I want to simulate what it will be like when I’m tired and running on empty. It allows me to see how far I can go on so little and what it will be like to overcome the wall.
When it comes to student ministry I don’t think there is a time when I want to be running on empty; unfortunately, it’s going to happen. This feeling of empty will creep up on us when we are going through a busy season or just had a crappy week. The question you have to ask yourself is, “How do I get through it?” Not easily; however, here are a few tips to help you:
- Eliminate The Unnecessary: It’s hard to focus with a lot of noise in your life. The best way to run on empty is by shedding as much as possible to focus on the important. This might take insight from others but sit down look at your to-do list and ask yourself about each item, “What will happen if I delegate or drop this?” Most times you’ll find a solution.
- Constantly Communicate: When we run on empty we know it, we feel it and some times we assume others do too. I’m not saying you have the floor to whine and moan; however, make sure you are telling people what’s on your plate and what’s in your heart. You’ll find more times than not people will reach out to help.
- Embrace Moments Of Rest: It might not feel like you would get a lot of rest running on empty; but, take opportunity when you do. If you can get to bed early, do it. If you can get some fresh air, do it. If you can eat lunch away from your desk, do it. Each little moment of peace is a moment of Grace; it’s a chance to catch your breathe.
- Be Persistent With God: Never stop talking to God. Whether it’s in quiet time prayer, listening to worship music or praying with others we need to remind ourselves that He is with us always. When we can no longer handle it on our own that’s when we need to hand it off to Him.
None of us want to be running on empty because it means being a little irritable and worn out. Just remember ministry is a marathon with many hills and valleys. To get through the rough seasons we just need to focus on one step at a time.
Which of the four are hardest for you to do when running on empty?