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Fuel in Your Tank!

Recently I was traveling with my family back from St Petersburg. Keen to get home, I stopped quickly at a busy gas station to fill up our vehicle before the 100-mile drive back to Orlando. After maneuvering alongside a pump, I begin to fill up. In my hast and hurry, I quickly unscrewed my gas cap, swiped my credit card, put the nozzle in the tank, and hit the start button. Fortunately, it didn't take me too long to realize that I had hit the wrong button and was putting diesel into my gas-powered engine! This mistake can have devastating effects on your engine and be VERY costly to repair. Putting the wrong kind of fuel into your car can cause great trouble to your engine. In the same way, putting the wrong inputs into our life can be detrimental to us!

For the next few hours, I was angry. I had put the wrong thing into something where it was essential to put the right thing in. Fortunately, I had only put 1 gallon of diesel into my 17-gallon tank, and on the advice of some of my friends who know a little about engines, filling the tank up with the natural gas diluted the diesel and didn't cause too much lasting damage.

As I reflected on this story, I realized that I missed warning signs as I put the wrong substance in my tank. For some reason, I chose to ignore the obvious warning signs that were before me. In the same way, many of us breeze past the warning signs that in our own lives and allow the wrong things into our lives, preventing us from working optimally

This experience taught me three questions to prevent us from putting the wrong inputs into our lives.

1) Does what I am doing fit appropriately with what I want? The nozzle on a diesel pump is different from the nozzle on a gas pump, and in my hurry, I decided to make it fit unnaturally. Many people enter into relationships, careers, or behavior that just doesn't 'fit properly' with who they are or want to be. The first filter we need to run our decisions through is 'does this fit' who I am and want to be?

2) Is there a noticeable cost difference?  As I saw the numbers rising at the pump, I should have realized that I was making a mistake. Diesel was more expensive than gas, and I overlooked the increasing cost I was paying. There are always reasonable costs to pay in life, but at the same time, there are some costs that we shouldn't pay. I was paying over the odds for something harmful to me. A friend asks me, "Is the price worth the prize?" Is what I am spending too costly?

3) "I didn't know your van took diesel." My Dad's words confirmed the concerns that I was feeling. To avoid making bad decisions, we must listen to the words and counsel of our friends. Having people who love us, who can look into our lives objectively and speak truth to us, is vital if we want to allow the right "fuel" in. Who does this for you?

While the situation with my gas tank turned out to be minimal, we must be vigilant not to let the wrong 'fuel' into our lives.

Bible Verse:
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—dwell on these things. Philippians 4:8

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