Everyone, whether as a student or staff, knows that May feels like it is 100 days long instead of 31. I wake up almost every morning with the song “Final Countdown” playing in my head. After April break we are reminded that it is the final push. In the last month of the school year, however, we have graduation, the Baccalaureate Mass, the Ascension Thursday Mass, the prom, the awards nights, the spring concert, the closing Mass and final exams. It’s more like a final mountain climb then a push.
As disciples, I feel that many days can feel like the “final push” as well. We have in heard many say, from Thomas Aquinas to Wayne Dyer to Oprah Winfrey, that we cannot give what we do not have. We know the analogy that every car needs to pull up to the tank to refill or every lamp needs to be plugged into a power source. I have been struggling with this lately. I recently told my best friend that I felt like my “Jesus tank” was empty.
When our “Jesus tank” gets empty, we look to fuel ourselves from other resources. For myself, I first rely on caffeine. I know this sounds ridiculous, but I think when we are at our emptiest, we think if we just had a little more energy than we can keep going (shout out to the gallon of Chippi that kept me afloat). And maybe this energy will keep us going to the next step but it does not have any sustaining power. Other times I find myself leaning on my own fuel, my own will to do what needs to get done. For the last year I have been praying for humility; praying that when others meet me they meet Christ, see Christ, hear Christ. We all want to be loved, but I want to have a more intentional focus on leading others to Christ.
God has answered my prayer for humility in so many ways for which I’m grateful but in turn, leaves me giving out more Jesus than I take in. So on top of praying for humility, I have also tried to focus my prayer on filling my tank. There is a great song I heard the other day, called “Fill My Cup,” by Andrew Ripp. The chorus is:
“Fill my cup, Lord
Run it over
Give me love, give me joy, give me peace
Fill my cup, Lord
Run it over
I am Your child in need
Lord, I need You to fill my cup.”
When we find ourselves empty and in need of a refill, we need to fill our cups with what Christ wants to put in our cup. Not caffeine, or alcohol, or food, or selfishness, or the admiration of others. Christ wants to fill our cups with His Spirit in a way that it “runs over” with His graces. He wants to fill our Jesus tanks with His love, His joy, and the lasting peace that only He can give.
So if your tank is empty, find a tabernacle, kneel before Him and let His graces pour forth. And remember, gas prices may be high but his “fuel” is free for everyone.
Amanda Tarantelli has been a campus minister at Bishop Stang High School in North Dartmouth since 2005. She is married, a die-hard sports fan, and resides in Cranston, R.I. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.