Once upon a time there was a little village nestled at the foot of snow-capped mountains. Its greatest treasure was a sparkling, life-giving stream that flowed right down the center. The people who lived near that stream were happy and vibrant.
One day the Town Council gathered to go over the budget, and they came upon an expense that seemed unnecessary to them: payment to the Keeper of the Springs. They had never heard of this person.
An old timer explained: “It is his job to walk the mountain springs. Every day he clears away leaves and twigs and logs that could clog the springs and prevent the water from feeding our stream.”
The Council promptly decided that’s how they could save money. They sent a notice to the Keeper of the Springs that his services would no longer be required, and that was that.
For a while all went on as before. But little by little the stream in the middle of the village began to change. Soon it wasn’t as fresh and clean as it had been before—the water level dropped and it began to have a peculiar odor.
Over time the flowing, sparkling stream was reduced to a pitiful series of stale, stagnant puddles. The villagers no longer described their lives as happy and vibrant. In fact, illness began to spread throughout the town.
The Council knew what they needed to do. They sent word to the Keeper of the Springs and asked him to take up his job again and check on the mountain springs every day.
Gradually, as those springs were cleared and allowed to flow once again into their village, the water level rose and the stagnant pools were replaced by a sparkling, vibrant, life-giving stream once again.
That story holds a great truth for us. Often amid the busyness of life, we neglect the mountain springs that feed our souls. The pH balance of our lives becomes upset and, over time, we begin to stagnate.
Charlotte Mason encouraged us to “Teach from a flowing stream, not from a stagnant pool” (The Story of Charlotte Mason, p. 288).
You need a steady supply of refreshment and renewal flowing into your life to replenish what you use up as you minister to your family, your friends, and your neighbors. Oh, yes, you can run on fumes; moms are good at that. But it’s time you understood how that tendency can hurt your family more than help them.
In the new calendar journal, Keeping Your Balance, we take a look at a few areas of life that can provide that oh-so-necessary renewal and refreshment that contribute to keeping you in balance: work and rest, play and learn, worship and connect. But you must be careful to tend them—like those mountain springs. You must be intentional to keep them flowing into your life. When you do that, those vital elements will feed your soul so you will have an abundance out of which to teach, to love, and to give to those around you.