Keeping little stones is a lot of work. An around-the-clock vigil that can break even the strongest. My daily walk with my two precious stones robs me of time. Their heaviness burdens my arms, leaving me sore and spent. Empty and drained.
“Take time for you” I hear. “Do the things you love. Take care of yourself.” A little me time.
” . . . Love is not self-seeking . . .” 1 Cor. 13:5 (NIV)
The words creep up on me, sneaking into view. I would rather pretend I don’t see them. How easy to place priority on myself. It requires no sacrifice or convincing; the guilt justified, after all, in a worthy cause. But in the end, Me time only leaves me wanting more of me. My own agenda. My own pastimes. My own space. Any refreshment it provides is only a temporary refill; my cup drained within hours.
And what to do when a whole week goes by without a dose of myself? A month? A season of life? The cycle never ends. Love gets up at 5 am because the toddler is hungry. Love plays the game a 17th time. Love listens to the man across from me, long conversations in the hours after they have finally gone to sleep. Love repeats the discipline, the instructions, the answers–all with mind-numbing grace. Love makes a meal that no one likes, coerces it into their tummies, and scrapes the rest off the floor. Love gives. Love works. Love puts aside.
There is no virtue in burn-out or exhaustion. No reason to leave myself depleted in an effort to win points. God is not keeping score, and everyone needs a break. Even the Stone-Keeper must rest her arms and be still, finding time to shut off the noise and demands in order to rekindle the joy.
But love in its purest form is sacrifice. It is not the hours I have to myself, but the attitude of my heart.
The answer is not more time for me, but more with with Him. Me time does not give me refuge; I find that under His wings. Me time does not carry my burdens; He gives me strength. Because like greedy leeches, they will take all that I have. More than I can give. An empty pitcher cannot pour life into little hands.
And so I change, learning to seek Him instead of seeking self. Learning to love more perfectly. He teaches me, deepening the well of my faith.
Deeper wells give more water.