Running on Empty

"Been running on empty, and I need you more each day. Been falling by myself so believe me when I say. I'de give it all up, just to feel you when I pray. Been running on empty, so just show me the way." --Humble Yourself (feat. Arunan) - from the "Wasn't Supposed to be This Way" record

There is something about the way we are made that requires us to draw from somewhere. People get their energy, information, and desire from different places. Whether righteous or not, the places we draw from dictate what we do on this earth. I am completely convinced of this - artists, sex offenders, pastors, prostitutes, presidents and peasants - we all find what we are made of and who we become from something/someone/circumstances/etc.

We want to accomplish so much in so little time. I remember how I used to operate in college - I felt like I was the sole author of my destiny. I believed that nothing could ever deter me from accomplishing everything I wanted. What I did not realize is who I was and what I was living for was fully dependent on myself. I would claim that I drew from God for strength, but the true measure of your claims and faith spill out when they clash with something we call reality. In many ways, college is a sheltered world that can be a huge asset, or another mask and blanket to delay the real world. This is why many people go on to higher degrees and dead-end professions - it is a way to delay your demise. This is for another blog entry, so let's not go there...

Hitting utter disappointment and confusion is a wonderful thing. It is only here that we can find out if the things we were orginally drawing from are of any worth. When you hate your profession as a doctor, was drawing from the source of your cultural preservation and the approval from your parents worth it? When you find yourself unsure of the religious beliefs that you have adopted, was drawing from a spoon-fed faith that your family passed down to you worth it? When your alcohol intake gets out of hand, was drawing from the source of being well-liked worth it? When you hate being a musician and music has no more value, was drawing from the source of having all the attention and love from fickle fans worth it? We must test where we draw our energy, motivation, and desire from. If we are unwilling to go there, then we must not be surprised when our house made of playing cards comes crumbling down when we are put through the fire.

You guys already know where I draw my strength, motivation, and energy from. It would be foolish to state it so clearly. I hear that only weak writers do that. So to avoid being a bad writer, let me be as subtle as possible. This is what I know, and perhaps some of you can resonate -

I know where I need to draw from. I know it like I know the sky is blue. I know how I feel and operate when I do draw from Him (there goes the subtlety). I also know the consequences of not drawing from Him. The problem is that just like everyone reading this, I am testing out if where I draw from is truly trustworthy. I am wondering if I can fully function from this source, or whether I need other sources as well. I am not 100% sure if this source is always reliable. If this source is ready and willing to give me enough fuel when my tank is empty. If this source is so good, then why do I feel so dependent on Him? If this well is overflowing with water, then why do I feel so dry? I suppose that running on empty feels disgusting for us all. I suppose that being left with no energy, and forgetting why you even do what you do ranks up there with depression and loss.

It was here that the lyrics of "Why do we give Up" came about - probably the most underrated and least talked about songs on "Zer0 & 1ne." I'm like that parent who gets pissed off when you don't give one of my children their due credit. Stop talking about my kid who is good looking and athletic. Take a look at my child who is chubby and out of shape, but has something deeper within ---

"And with my faith, I will meditate / And confirm in heaven's timing that it's not too late / Recessitate, every bad thing that was 2nd rate / And turn them into piles full of fishing bait / That could reel in a better fish if we just wait / For the waters to stir, to disseminate / All the quality choices to permeate, and set us straight / I'm full for right now because I just ate / And when I'm empty again, oh he fills my plate"

May He fill your plate - Peace and much love to you. John Baptist!


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