A leader in the organization I work with tells the story of walking down a dusty road in Texas. As he approached a hill, he could hear a terrible squealing and grinding coming from the other side. When he reached the top of the hill, he saw where the noise was coming from.
There, in a farmer’s field, was one of dozens of oil pumps that were common to the area. But this one was different. Being poorly maintained, it had run dry of the oil needed to lubricate its parts.
Isn’t that ironic? An oil pump needing oil.
And isn’t that convicting? How many of us have been in the position of annointing others with the oil of the Holy Spirit while we ourselves are running dry? How long can we go on like that? How long before our spiritual gears and pumps grind to a halt? We can’t continue to give to others what we ourselves no longer have.
I’m personally struggling with this, because it’s been months since I worshiped in my own home church. With my travel schedule, I’m frequently gone on the weekend. The one week I was home, I taught in children’s ministry. While the people I work with frequently worship together, I’ve found that it’s not exactly the same. The pump is feeling a little dry.
It’s not just worship that keeps the pump lubricated. It’s all the spiritual disciplines working together. Prayer, Bible-reading, fellowship, meditation, service and good works, fasting, devotions, tithing, obedience, singing…(just to name some of the most common ones).
Don’t feel pressured to do them all. Each one of us was created differently by God, and He takes joy from our different ways of growing closer to Him. Focus on the spiritual disciplines that help you center on God, and keep trying new ones from time to time. You might find you like them.
So, give yourself a little oil this week. You’ll find a little goes a long way.