Last Thursday a Pastor told a story about how he at times will run out of gas in his vehicle. He told about one time he ran out of gas and a police officer picked him up. The officer spoke over the radio that he had a "whiskey mike", someone who doesn't watch their gas needle, runs out, and needs assistance. These are the one's who are so focused on where they are going they forget to make sure they have what it takes to make the trip. Or they have this "I can do it later" mentality where they will have time later to get gas.
This is true for leaders as well. As leaders we need gas to go where God is calling us and to do what we are called to do. However, there are many leaders who are trying to lead without gas. We all need time to refill our tanks. We need time that's just about us and not those that we lead. Some call these times "Sabbath days" or "a little R&R", I call it common sense. If a machine can't run without refueling, why do we think we are so different. Don't be a whiskey mike, take time and recharge.
Many leaders run out of gas because they are to focused on the vision of where they are going. They accomplish and show "to-do" lists whose boss, they are constantly pursuing the call of God on their life but they feel run down and beat up. Remember that to get to where you are going as a leader you will need to stop every once in a while and refuel. Take time and relax. Cut off the phone. The computer. The e-mails. Just breathe. Without days like this you will run out of gas and end up walking down the road with a gas can beating yourself up for not paying attention to the gas needle. Some do this throughout the week, and that's good but set one day a week aside to refuel and get back at it.
Other leaders pay attention to the gas needle, but believe that they can do it later. They say, "I'm tired and need a break, but I can do it later. Maybe next week when I don't have as much to do?" They know the importance of rest, but they believe that once they have accomplished everything that they'll have time to rest. News Flash: YOU'RE NEVER DONE!!! Our task lists never get shorter, there are always more e-mails to write, more phone calls to make, more meetings to have. The time to take a break and refuel is now. Schedule it into your week, take a day a week and recharge. Forget your responsibilities and refuel.
If we are leaders do not take time to refuel we will not only put ourselves to walking, but also those we lead. The car you're driving has passengers, your followers. If you are out of gas and have to walk, where do they go, what will they do. You are no good as a leader if you can't lead them. The only way to not let yourself become a 'Whiskey Mike'. Don't run out of gas, consistently refuel. Come to think of it, my Jeep is running low on gas right now...