The virtues of giving have been extolled over and over again. We all strive to give our time, our resources, our attention, our selves, our love. It does not help when you know you are called to be a blessing to a world beyond yourself and your immediate family. Giving to one’s immediate family itself can be quite overwhelming. We are admonished and we push ourselves to give, give and give again as though we are sources rather than vessels, which when poured out must be filled again.
I give my time, I give my resources, I give my attention, I give my presence. How can I truly keep giving if I do not find the time to replenish? If I give daily, I need to receive daily. I live to give but in order to keep living and not die giving, I need the art of receiving. I need to learn how to receive because my receiving is what enables me to give in the first place.
This requires what may look like selfishness but I am learning to do it more. I am learning from Jesus Christ whom I follow. He ministered to multitudes of people, but he found it necessary to retreat from time to time into solitude and silence, not even with his disciples, it seems, just to receive, to replenish from the only Source who needs no replenishing. Little wonder Christ was still able to forgive his crucifiers and even grant access to Paradise while on the cross.
I am learning to set aside chunks of time during my day, usually in the very early hours of the morning, when I do nothing but receive. I do not even write, I just “stand upon my watch and wait to hear what He will say unto me.” I am so in need of replenishing, probably more so than others, that I strive to do it daily, avoiding all forms of interference.
I have written before, that my life goes into a tailspin if I allow even a short period of time to pass without replenishing. I honestly have no clue how anyone can go for days or weeks without moments of solitude but I guess it shows how needy I am. I am most dependent during my times of receiving because I acknowledge that I am in need, thirsty, hungry. The receiving I am referring to is nourishment, for spirit, soul and body. Nourishment is something we share even with plants who are almost wholly dependent.
In addition to receiving directly from the Source, I am also learning to receive from other human beings. I am learning that God has a right to speak through any human being He chooses and it is in my best interest to listen for God in every human being that comes across my path, starting from my wife and daughter, whom those of us who are called to bless the world easily ignore.
I am also learning that one of the greatest gifts I can give another being is to receive what they have to give. There is something heavenly about entering into a giving and receiving relationship where each person gives and receives so that we keep getting replenished as we give, in an endless loop.