Once in a while - not often, but here and there - the Lord speaks to me by putting a picture in my mind. Tonight I'm reminded of an experience I had several years ago when my children were much younger. I was feeling completely worn out, as though I had given everything I had to give and was still being called on to give more. I felt unappreciated, overworked, overlooked, and very, very frazzled. Pretty much par for the course when you're a young mom.
Into my mind came two pictures. One was of a fountain, and the other was of a puddle. As I tried to figure out what I was supposed to be understanding from this, the explanation - or interpretation, if you will - became clear.
A puddle sits on the ground. It waits for other sources of water to feed it. If you step in a puddle and splash, you take away from the water mass and the puddle shrinks. When the puddle gets hot, it evaporates.
A fountain rises above the ground. It recirculates its water, in essence taking what it's been given and turning it for good - that requires energy. Fountains are beautiful. People come to look at them and admire them, finding peace in the sound of the water.
The thought came to me: "Be a fountain, not a puddle."
Instead of lying on the ground and waiting for people to step on me, I should stand up and use my energy to develop my God-given talents and share with those around me.
Instead of waiting for other sources to replenish me, I should dig deep and replenish myself through spiritual study and intellectual enrichment.
Instead of wallowing in the mud, I should seek to be a place of refuge to others and speak to them the words that would refresh them and help them find peace.
What a difference that analogy made in my mindset.
And I must really need it again today because I was reminded of it a few minutes ago. It's been a very puddle-like day. I have felt myself evaporating under life's heat, felt myself shrink as others have splashed through. But now it's time to take a deep breath and become a fountain. A tall, beautiful fountain.
Who's with me?