Working with Empty

Recently, the ink ran out of my fountain pen as I was writing. “No! Not now!” I chided.  A stream of good thoughts and reflections had to be written lest I forget them. (Being over forty, forgetting comes much easier to me now.)

The ink, however, continued it’s sporadic offering until I found myself scratching the paper instead of writing on it. The ink supply had been exhausted. No matter how I shook it, I was working with empty.

I stopped what I was doing. The source of the flow had to be renewed. It didn’t matter how important or urgent my notes were, when the ink ran out I was forced to take a break. I had to get up and go to the place where the extra cartridges are kept. I opened the drawer and took out a new ink cartridge. I unscrewed the pen, took out the empty cartridge and replaced it with a full one.

Then I waited. It takes time for the ink to flow through the feed, the intricate collector and into the nib. Finally, with the supply refreshed, the pen was again useful and I was able to continue what I had been doing.

The analogy didn’t take long to hit me: how often do I work on empty? When I do, do I realize I’m only scratching and not really making a mark?

God’s spirit feeding mine is the source of my strength. When I neglect my time with Him—often because I’m doing much for others in His name—the source runs dry.

God gives strength to the weary, and increases the power of the weak…those who wait on the Lord will gain new strength. (Isaiah 40:31) You who seek God, let your heart revive. (Psalm 68:32)

Before I end up working on empty, I need to stop what I’m doing, go to the place where I keep my Bible, open it, and meditate on it’s laws and precepts. Then as I wait on the Lord in prayer, His spirit begins to flow in and through my heart, mind, and soul. With my supply refreshed, I become useful again.

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