A few weeks ago, Dan and I attended our son’s school’s Spring Banquet.  It was a wonderful evening with a great speaker, fun company and a nice meal.  The teen students tended the tables, pouring water, coffee and clearing dishes.

We had a very nice, young teenage girl as our server.  She was a bit nervous but her sweet demeanor and smile made up for everything.  When one of the ladies at the table requested coffee, our server promptly retrieved a coffee carafe for her.  As the girl began to pour (with our entire table watching), nothing came out!  The lady and her husband explained that she had to untwist the lid to allow the coffee come out.

Something seemed off to me though.  Having been in the banquet industry, the entire pot looked far too light to contain any amount of coffee in it.  She tried untwisting the lid, but still nothing came out.  Then we mentioned to her that it was an empty carafe.  The young girl hid her embarassment well and really no one at the table minded at all.

And it made me think . . . how many times are we empty but we are simply too busy to notice?  When was the last time we felt “full?”  Full of purpose, contentment, peace, love and joy.

Life is busy.  Whether you are a professional, a parent, one who works in or out of the house, living in today’s tech-savvy, “gotta have it now-world” can be crazy.  It is easy to be so busy, to have our kids so scheduled and to have our own priorities and goals, that we miss tending to our own spirits and well-being.  (Um, confessions of a busy mom.)  For me, what brings the sense of fullness is spending time in the presence and Word of God.  He provides the stability, purpose and peace that my busy life requires.

photo credit

But let’s take it a step further.  A woman in my Bible study group shared a great illustration from a biography she had recently read.  I’m sorry I don’t remember the person’s name or century.

It was about a —teenth century priest who related that we can be a great conduit of God’s grace and mercy to others.  It flows from Him, right through us and on to the people around us.  Picture the downward hand motion – from heaven to us and out to others.  And that is nice, but there is a better way.  We are to be like a pot or vase filled up to the point of overflowing.  So that the mercy and grace of God that fills us, simply overflows out of the top unto others.

Which do you want to be?  I want to be used but not simply as a conduit.  I want to be overflowing with the love of God that it bubbles up and extends to others.  I don’t want to serve out of my emptiness, but rather my fullness.  

How about you?  How do you fill up?