The other day, I was filling up the gas tank for my wife’s vehicle, because, well, that’s just the kind of guy I am😏. What to do with the time it takes to fill the tank? Doom-scroll on my phone? Watch cars pass by? Stare into space? So many options. I must have chosen the space option as my brain encountered an odd sound coming from my the vehicle. It was as if, something was leaking. It sounded like liquid splattering on the ground. “Man, that sounds bad.” I thought. “I’d hate to be the person that’s happening to.”
Turns out, it was happening to me as the gas pump didn’t automatically stop when the tank was full and fuel was erupting from my tank, spilling the precious $5.09 liquid all over the ground. “Inflation!” I muttered. What a mess. What a waste. Ultimately, turns out you can’t fit more gas into the space given by the manufacturer of the van. Once the tank is at capacity, it’s done.
You also can’t fit a gallon of milk into a pint container.
Nor a dozen cookies into a petite jar.
Nor too much junk in your garage if you want to shut the doors.
Interestingly enough…I’m finding I’m a lot the same way. At capacity, that is. Take news for example. Unless it’s the worst doomsday story they can find, the news station simply won’t broadcast it. It has to be world ending, vile, violent, and/or evil for it to make the news nowadays. All in the effort to capture your attention…and to sell more ads. I’m at capacity. I need to turn it off. But I want to be aware. My clients are paying me to know what’s going on, and better yet, what to do about it. What a tension.
Politics? I’m at capacity with that too. There’s not a lot of compromise or working across the aisle or trying to run the country well. It’s mostly about controversy and conspiracies and immorality and chaos. MSNBC, Fox News, CNN and all the others express points of view that either confirm or enrage viewers. And in the end, 535 members of Congress represent the whims of preference for over 330 million Americans. What a job.
Advertisements? I’m done…way over capacity. I saw a stat the other day that the average person now sees around 5,000 ads per day, all thanks to social media and online advertising. I made the mistake of opening my Facebook app while on vacation. Ads about Yellowstone adventures and zip lining and country stores littered my feed. Other than the obvious…how did they even know I was at Yellowstone! Scary. But life in today’s world. But I also buy things based on those ads from time to time, so that’s good right? What a nightmare.
Having thought through my capacity issues, I’ve landed on the following conclusion: There’s one thing in which I’m convinced I’ll never reach capacity. Somehow, I just can’t run out of room. It’s ever expanding, never full.
“What is that?” you ask.
My heart. (And yours, I suspect).
Each evening, my heart is warmed by my children greeting me after a hard day’s work. School started this week…they’re growing up before my eyes…2 high schoolers and a 5th grader. Where did the time go? I love watching them grow up though. They’re each finding their personality, their interests, their skills, their way.
Don’t get me wrong, parenting has its challenges, but my heart never fills with the love I have for these kids. And someday in the distant future, if fate and love collide, my wife, Keri, and I will be welcoming 2 son-in-laws and a daughter-in-law to our family. And dare I mention the potential for grandkids? My heart may burst with all the joy and love. But so far, I keep finding more space.
What about you? What are you at capacity with? What about your heart never gets full?
My guess is, if you’re honest, you’d agree with most of my comments above. Especially about how family fills your heart.
May you slow down enough today to realize your heart’s ever expanding nature for the love you have of those around you.
And, although we may be at capacity with many things, may we never reach capacity to love.