My husband & I were recently on a plane and the flight attendants began giving their safety demonstration. To be honest, it can be a bit disconcerting to be told how to use your seat cushion as a flotation device when you’re about to fly over the Atlantic Ocean, but since I’m a good Christian I didn’t let anyone see my nervousness…gotta keep a good face on things, right?
Anyway, something I noticed while trying to hide my growing trepidation was their instructions regarding the oxygen masks. They emphasized that if you were traveling with a child or someone who needed assistance, you must first put on your own oxygen mask and then help the person with you. Being a good mama I found that completely ridiculous! How in the world could I be so selfish as to put my own mask on before helping my child?! But then it began to dawn on me: if I focus on giving others what they need without taking in what I need, then I will be no help to anyone.
Oh how true this principle is in my spiritual life! As a pastor’s wife I find myself often running on empty. I spend so much of my time and energy pouring into other people that it doesn’t take long before I’m burned out and exhausted. But if I will spend some time each day getting myself connected to the Source of Life, I’ve found I have so much more to give to others.
One of my favorite things I’ve learned from the ladies in the Leading & Loving It community is to serve others out of an overflow of my own relationship with God. Writing children’s church curriculum, preparing to lead the women’s Bible study, or even listening to my husband preach cannot take the place of my own personal time spent with God. No matter how busy my life gets, I MUST find time to get alone with Him. Making this time with God a priority is not being selfish, it’s being wise.
Set your alarm a little earlier, turn on Veggie Tales for the kids, lock yourself in the bathroom before your teenagers need the shower, put on your headphones while your hubby watches ESPN… whatever it takes…but find some time to connect with God. Allow Him to fill you daily so that you can serve others out of an overflow of your own relationship with Him. You will find your service to be much easier, your leadership to be stronger, and your heart to be fuller.
How are you connecting to God these days? What tips do you have for making time to be filled before pouring into others?