Several days ago I heard a saying that I cannot get out of my mind. So the best thing to do is…share it!
“Serve from your saucer!”
What?? How can this be right?
This was my first reaction – and as I began to process it, I realized that it is because it’s opposite to the way I have lived my life … this has really been challenging something down deep in my core. Maybe you will relate to my upside-down thinking…
But first, imagine with me a beautiful cup and saucer, and there is a pot pouring hot, steaming coffee into the cup. (Can’t you just hear that delightful sound of coffee filling the cup and the aroma wafting through the air…) You are anticipating taking that first sip … mmmm!
As the coffee continues to fill the cup, the pot doesn’t stop pouring, and yes, you guessed it, there is now coffee overflowing onto the saucer!
This exhortation above suggests that this is the proper place to serve from – the coffee that is filling the saucer! What???
I can remember countless times over the years where I have served, but always from my cup. And always all the way till it is empty – down to the dregs! Isn’t that what we have been told all our lives to do?
“Give your all!!!”
“Leave it all on the floor – hold nothing back!”
“To the last drop!!!”
Whether it was facilitating a weekend retreat, leading a mission trip, teaching at a seminar, coordinating a wedding, or just working my everyday job at the office, I was always feeling that the worth and value of my service was determined by giving my all, no matter what. Can you relate?
Here, the idea is put before us that the cup and all its contents are for you, and the overflow onto the saucer is what you should serve others – and it is the best because it is overflowing from the top and not the bottom where the dregs have sunk.
Serve from your overflow!
This way everyone that comes in contact with you gets the best, gets the high-quality content of your heart.
The key, then, is to keep your cup —which is for you — full to overflowing. This looks like a fabulous picture of self-care that I have not seen before. If everything in the cup is for me, and I am intentionally filling it with the things of health, of growth, and of power, how can the stuff that flows out of the overflow not be the very best of me?! I am certain that the value of anything I would have to serve others would be of the highest quality if I was serving from a place of security, significance, and full acceptance. How could we not exude healthy confidence, the ability to love well, the capability of hearing others, and giving out of abundance?
Come to think of it — isn’t this the picture of how Jesus served? He knew when it was time to get his cup refilled when he was needing restoration. He never apologized for taking time away to be with His Father, to spend time in His presence refilling His cup so that He could serve the very best to His followers. Serving out of the overflow of our hearts is definitely a biblical picture and one I want to incorporate into my daily life.
So then, how do we keep our cups overflowing so the saucer has plenty to serve from?
One of the surest ways that comes immediately to mind, is spending time in the the presence of the One Who loves us the most – soak in His presence daily, keeping your conversations with Him open and honest and full of life. This is how we get filled – listening, having a conversation, resting in the moments we can be with Him. May we guard these times with Him as our highest priority; this is truly our life source and inspiration. This is the place we receive all the motivation to walk the journey put before us and to live life to its fullest.
Feed your soul. What are the things that inspire you? Are you a reader? Do you like to listen to music? Take a walk outside in nature? Exercise? Do yoga? Get a pedicure or a facial? How about having a heart to heart with your close friend? All these things fill your cup – that cup that is truly for you. For you.
I really love this visual of a coffee cup overflowing onto the saucer, seeing that there is always enough in the cup, and plenty to give away. This seems to remove the fear of exhaustion, removing the need to hold back in case there isn’t enough to give away. Let the cup continue to overflow, let it feed my soul, and share all that spills out, never feeling depleted and empty. Wow!
What do you think?