5 Miles to Empty


In the pass week we’ve all, no doubt, seen the images of the South Carolina student slammed by Officer Ben Fields, and of course we all have our opinions about the matter. What has struck me most about this incident is not so much what happens on tape, but it is the backstory. The story of this student’s troubled past, and recent losses, (for some) gives a context for her behavior. We’ve also heard the history of Officer Field’s tough and sometimes brutal tactics in dealing with student. While I understand that these are people’s lives playing out on the national stage, I can’t help but to be fascinated by one thing ….

The backstory.

You have to understand, that nothing is truly isolated or random. Most of everything that ever happens, happens for a reason. There is usually some story attached to every event in the history of every life. Yet many times all we see is the final straw. There are a lot of people in and around your life, at this very moment, fighting a battle no one knows about. For some we see the clues, and we pick up on the signs.These are the people fighting at this very moment, and can’t avoid the leak of emotions that tell their stories. For these people, most of us are at least apathetic. I mean we get it … life is hard and everybody goes through something sometimes.

But for the others that hide it well, behind a bubbly personality, and a smile to die for, they just might be 5 miles to empty. These are the people who we always seem to assume to be “the last person to ever go through that.” Right under our noses, these people are fighting for their lives, but we don’t see how close they are to breaking down. You can’t tell how much gas is in a car just by watching it drive by or seeing a picture of it online. Yet we think we really know people through our superficial, drive-thru relationships ; avoiding the little sorry details. There are people right now dealing with unimaginable pain, yet they smile anyway.

It wouldn’t be too far-fetched to think that perhaps you, yourself, are on this exact same highway, barring towards a major collision. Maybe you are “this close” to collapsing under the unseen pressures of your life. Maybe today is the day when your backstory invades your right now, and you just need someone to hurry, hurry, (quick, quick) help you cope with this major thing. I understand. I get it. People say it mockingly but it rings true in so many of our lives: nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen; nobody knows my sorrow.

So before you jump quickly to determine what people should have done, or how people should have reacted, or what they should have said, or how they should have handled that situation, remember one thing. They just may be battling forces you just can’t see. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)

© 2015 Team Murph Publishing/DJoaquin Publishing, All Rights Reserved

If you enjoyed this article, please feel free to share it with your family, friends and social media to help spread this encouragement. Thank you for reading!

“5 Miles to Emtpy” was written by Nichole Gilbert, Gerald Baillergeau, Victor Merritt. Produced by Big Yam & Victor Merritt. Performed by Brownstone. Released 1997

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