“Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” (Abraham Lincoln)
When we’re tired, hungry, or stressed, we’re generally not much use. We’re running at a diminished capacity.
Do you know just when you feel like going out of your way to help others? When you’re sitting in traffic after a long day of work, starving, and just trying to make it home. That’s the best time to catch you with an unexpected opportunity to help someone! Please sense the sarcasm. When we’re barely scraping by on our own, we’re in no position to help others.
You can’t fill up the cups of others, when yours’, itself, is empty. Bone-dry, and in need of refilling.
However, when our cup is full, we’re at a heightened capacity to help others. Indeed, when it overflows, as David writes in Psalm 23, we’re well-positioned to share from that abundance.
There is an opportunity cost to not taking care of yourself. Lost opportunity to take care of others. We must sharpen our axes, as Abraham Lincoln famously stated. Stephen Covey calls it the 7th of his 7 Habits, “Sharpening the Saw.”
We must make time for regular activities to ensure we are well-positioned to care for ourselves and others.
Our hearts are the wellsprings of our lives, as Solomon describes it in Proverbs 4:23. Who we are and what we do flows from our hearts; from the fullness and condition of our hearts.
In a spiritual context, there is but one everlasting, reliable source for our wellspring of life. That source is Christ Jesus.
“Jesus said to her, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again. But whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become a fount of water springing up to eternal life.'” (John 4:13-14)
The Lord’s encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4 describes this concept.
Take time to connect yourself to Christ Jesus as the source of your wellspring of life. Be in his word. Pray to him. Freely align your heart with his will. You shall never thirst again.
Through his strength, we can be strong. By his love, we can know and be love. With his wholeness, we can achieve holiness. Only through his grace can we achieve eternal life.