Sometimes I feel empty, and I have to remind myself: You are not an endless fountain. You’re a teacup.
If you’re anything like me, you likely have some cracks and chips and places where your once-bold colors have faded with time. Every day, the world seeks you. Every day, someone (or maybe an endless line of someones) asks you for a drink to refresh their weary soul. Every day, you are emptied—sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. Maybe it’s caring for the emotions of friends. Maybe it’s a family member battling cancer who needs encouragement. Maybe it’s your job or your prayer shawl ministry or your child’s soccer team. Always, and every day, the world empties you.
That is how it should be, after all. We care for one another, carry one another’s loads, and offer friendship and love when it is most needed—like in the aftermath of two destructive hurricanes in the south of our nation or the aftermath of the fires out west. This is who we are: We give of our time, our money, and our resources.
The most important resource you have is yourself—your affection, your compassion, your intellect, your ideas, your wisdom, your love, your friendship. Money and time are unfathomable concepts of which there is never enough. But you… you are a rare teacup—fine bone china—and you allow yourself, daily, to care for the people around you.
But you are not an endless fountain. In fact, you’re probably not a fountain at all. You weren’t created with an unlimited reservoir of fresh, clean water. You are a teacup. You are only a teacup. That means you are fragile—if not cared for, you can be shattered.
It also means that in and of yourself, you are empty.
As so often happens, when we give to others and to our jobs and to our responsibilities and ministries, we pour out all we have for the benefit of others—and that is commendable. But how often do we run ourselves ragged, turning ourselves completely upside down to drain every last drop of water out to care for another? We can only provide the water which we carry. We need to be filled.
So whether it is going to church or running a marathon or knitting or taking a bubble bath or reading a book or playing guitar or taking a walk along the lake, take time to refill yourself. That’s what we were created for—to be filled (to know God) and to be poured out (to make Him known).