Time Out: Running on an empty tank

Topic / Time Out

Time Out (by Jerry Schmoyer)

Sometimes when I’m busy driving errands around town I put off things that feel like a hindrance, like putting gas in the car. I have too much to do to stop for gas so I tell myself I’ll just do it later. Obviously, you can figure out what happens if I put it off for too long. It’s like skipping meal after meal because I’m too busy to eat. That will quickly catch up with me, as well. The same is true spiritually. It’s easy to be so busy that we neglect regular time alone with the Lord. After all, we deal with spiritual things all day. We plan Bible studies, pray with people and give Biblical counsel, but unless we have a daily personal intake of God’s Word and a time of close connection with God we will soon be running on empty. We can be so focused on what we DO that we start to neglect who we ARE. Then we start to become discouraged, drained, impatient and frustrated because we are trying to operate without the proper fuel. Let God fill you with His presence. As any worthwhile relationship, it takes time, quality time, with the other person listening and talking. We don’t want to become like the religious rulers in Jesus’ day — so busy doing godly acts that they missed out on their personal connection with God. Remember, its all about relationship, and that means our own relationship with God.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”

2 Timothy 4:7-8, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day — and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”


  • Do you find yourself looking for a Bible lesson on line or in your files because you don’t have time to do something fresh from your own relationship with God? (See “Free small group curriculum: My life.”)
  • Do you find yourself spiritually empty without anything new to say to those you minister to?
  • What’s your plan? When do you try to schedule regular time with God?
  • What gives you the most difficulty in spending time with God each day? Is it business, laziness, unconfessed sin, poor priorities, etc.?
  • Who is your accountability partner? Who will ask you the tough questions about your relationship with God? If you don’t have someone (and your mate doesn’t count) then get someone now.


Jerry Schmoyer has been a minister in Pennsylvania for over 25 years and has worked with teenagers for 14 years now, ever since I became one myself. He authors the weekly Time Out series here at Life in Student Ministry in hopes to spiritually refresh your soul as you continually pour so much of yourself into students. God bless!

Posted on February 10, 2008

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