In the 1970’s Jackson Browne had great success with his song ‘Running on Empty’. I listened to it again recently as a friend of mine said he felt like he was running on empty. He had nothing left in the tank. He had nothing in reserve. Life had taken its toll. He felt his life was on hold and had been for some time. Spiritual life had disintegrated and he just couldn’t get fired up about anything. He felt flat and lacking in motivation to get back on track.
Just this morning, as I was out for my usual morning walk, I bumped into a friend and we stopped to chat for ten minutes. We talked about how we were coping with the restrictions during the pandemic and there was a massive relief in being honest about that. As we parted company I became quite emotional and I realised that I was really missing that regular connection with others which we have previously enjoyed. Emotions were close to the surface and there was a sense in which I, too, was running on empty.
We men love to pretend that everything is fine yet, underneath the masks we wear, there is a profound loneliness. It’s easy in times like that to feel like giving up and heading for our man cave. Sometimes we just don’t have the strength to raise the shield of faith and protect ourselves from all that life would throw at us.
But the current pandemic restrictions make it difficult to receive the support of others. For many, on-line meetings and text communication don’t always help us in our disconnection and isolation from others. We’re desperately missing the face to face contact.
Self isolation has become part of everyday language this year and clearly we must observe all the current rules and restrictions. But, if we can, let’s reach out to one another, as it’s a fair bet that others are feeling as isolated as we are. Maybe someone in your world would appreciate a phone call. Let’s do all we can to ensure that that we’re not running on empty.