Running Out of Steam


Running Out of Steam

Have you ever run out of steam? I mean like you reach a point that you had nothing else to give. Maybe you were overworked, overextended or simply burnt out. Those moments happen in life, but we still continue to learn lessons in those moments…

It was supposed to be an exciting weekend of running. I did it before, and I was really looking forward to the challenge again called “Run the Hammer”. The plan was simple, 5 km race followed by 10 km on Saturday; then a half marathon, 21.1km on Sunday morning. The weather forecast was perfect… so what could go wrong? It’s been a few days since I was experiencing a cold or flu, and felt a bit under the weather. The 5 km race went relatively well, but 10k was a struggle. Then I realize, I have nothing else to give. I literally ran out of steam. I just had to listen to my body, so on Sunday morning went for a nice walk with my dog instead. I had no choice, but to replenish my physical and emotional fuel.

The parable of this weekend teaches us a couple of lessons for the moments like this. Or rather, how not to find ourselves in the moments like this.

The distinction between the foolish and the wise was in the fact that the foolish expected the lamps to be lit without oil. So, they burned out! “Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps.” (Matthew 25:2-4) In order to “shine” we need to take care of the fuel of our physical, spiritual and emotional selves. Others cannot do this for us! We have to learn how to rest, how to bring balance to our emotional state, how to nourish our spiritual wellness, how to build healthy and supportive relationships. And we have to learn one more thing: the wisdom of saying “no”!

“The foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise replied, ‘No! there will not be enough for you and for us…’” (Matthew 25:8-9a) To say “no” is not easy. Sometimes it might seem like unkind or selfish. But if we keep saying “yes” to everything and everyone, we eventually are going to run out of steam. It’s not “no” for the sake of “no”; but rather for the sake of “yes” to more important and sustainable things.

When we answered the call to our vocation, we were entrusted with the lamp to shine brightly. I certainly hope that your light, in whatever way of life you are called to, is shining strong and clearly. But please, check the “oil” supply and replenish it if needed, taking care of yourself!

By Jarek Pachocki, OMI
OMI Lacombe Canada – Vocation Director
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