Before you get all bent out of shape, let me frame this for you. A few weeks ago, a deer T-boned me as I was going about 55 mph on a two-lane highway in the middle of nowhere. Our car was paid off a few months prior, and I had plans for that car. I’d drive it a few more years, and we’d give it to our daughter. Then, I’d upgrade. But that Monday, my plans went out the window.
Shocked. Confused. And asking God why? My car was totaled. The next week, we purchased my upgrade, and a week after that I’d put regular unleaded in my new car. My new car drank that gas so fast, so the next time I went to the gas station I put in premium. I forgot I had an upgrade that needed premium gas to operate properly.
Then God had a word for me.
When you upgrade in life, sometimes you have to change what you put inside your vehicle for it to function at its best. And in this illustration, the vehicle is YOU. What do you need at this appointed time for your body to function at its best? When God takes you to another level professionally or personally, he requires more from you. This translates to ensuring that your cup (your body) is filled. How are you preparing your mind to face what’s ahead of you? Do you have friends, mentors and colleagues who can challenge you and encourage you in your journey? Do you need a new circle of friends? What are you feeding your body? What type of movement are you doing?
What does your quiet time look like — a peaceful walk outdoors, meditation, prayer and devotional time? The world, your family and colleagues need more from you, but that’s only going to be possible if you continue to fill your cup with only the best fuel.
God also taught me that if you haven’t necessarily gotten that upgrade in life, but are seeking and praying for one, you have to work on yourself prior to the upgrade. What do I mean? When I had my 2014 Altima, I strived to keep her clean. I had the unlimited carwash, got her detailed (can we say life changing?) and would throw out the trash when I’d pump gas. I have children, so let’s be realistic. I’d have crumbs, face masks, homework and all sorts of crazy things in that back seat. Some of you desire better mental health. Get a therapist. Talk to a friend. Exercise to increase those endorphins. Eat healthy food.
Take a vacation or some time off. Find something new that you enjoy. Dance, cry or laugh. Some of you want a new job or promotion. Dress for that next job NOW! Work on your resume and cover letter. Take on a new project. Read a book and turn off the TV. Talk the talk. Walk the walk. Surround yourself with those who can encourage and help you get to the next level.
Whatever it is, start filling your tank now.
So, what does this really have to do with premium unleaded fuel? Honestly, nothing. I just wanted to get your attention. But know that as you grow, the cost of keeping YOU running increases. Think about how you’re spending your time and treasure. Fill yourself with only the best quality fuel. It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old. There’s no time like the present.
As Tasha Cobbs says, “Fill me up, God.” Ask him for ways to fill you up!
Leslie Nicole Smith is an executive in higher ed administration, a motivator and a community leader.