Thursday, May 17, 2012

You Shall Surely Wilt: The Dangers of Serving on Empty

I learn the hard way that I'm cutting lilac blooms all wrong. 

I look at my vase and frown.  What happened to my lilacs?  They wither within a few days when I bring them indoors.  

A lilac cutting, taken incorrectly, will last (at best) two days in a vase of water.  But if you know what you're doing, you can have a beautiful bouquet of glorious fragrance for much longer.

A lilac bloom isn't very good at absorbing moisture once separated from her tree.  You have to cut her when she's most hydrated in the early morning. Then, she has sucked in all the dew she needs for a long day. Next you cut her at a sharp angle so she can absorb the most water from the vase during the time she's separated from her tree.  You want to expose the most stem surface that you can.

If not, welcome wilt and wither.

As I go about various appointments with people today, I remember that loving folks has to happen when I'm most hydrated with the Lord.  All day, I keep myself sharply angled toward that Source. 

If I don't the wilt and wither makes me do crazy things. When you work on empty, you can suck the life out of people.  You can try to get needs met.  You can suffer from insecurity, sensitivity, entitlement, bitterness, and the need to control.  You lose that fragrance of life upon which all ministry depends.

I'm learning to say "no" to service until I'm hydrated.  I'm learning to say "yes" to love when it's the kind of love that flows from a fully hydrated soul.

If not, welcome wilt and wither.  

Have you wilted before?  


1and1makes6 said...

I am pretty wilted right now as a matter of fact...working to somehow slow down this runaway locomotive we have found ourselves on, desperate to let go of unecessary things and simply focusing on our home, our family and my own faith and well-being.   I am slowly recognizing that all the things I most often say yes to can truly get along just fine without me.  

Marife Palima said...

Thanks for this article Heather.  I'm praying I will really "soak" myself deeply in the Lord's presence to stay "hydrated" and avoid wilt and wither.

LivewithFlair said...

Hello, Marife!  Thank you!  

LivewithFlair said...

 Wonderful point, her!  I love that you say the things we "yes" to often are things other folks can do without us.