Monday, June 30, 2008

Got Oil?

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about the Parable Of The Ten Virgins. It is a bible story that I can relate to in many ways.
(picture courtesy of
Several years ago, I got some great insight into this Parable from a counselor I was going to. We were discussing the story and our thoughts about it. It is normally thought that the five virgins who had no oil in their lamps were slackers...not prepared and therefore, not worthy. She had a different take on the story that I found really helpful to me. She told me,

"How would you feel if I told you that you were one of the women without oil?"

(How would I feel? Horrible, of course! I work hard, I try my best!)

"The reason you have no oil is not because you are lazy and not prepared, it is because you gave all your oil away and kept none aside for yourself."

Oh. Well. I can see that. Maybe. We talked about how we, as women give and give until we have nothing left, for ourselves or anyone else. Seriously, I can totally see myself, way back in the day, standing there with my little lamp full of oil. Someone comes along with their sad story, I would totally give them some of my oil. Pretty soon, no oil left for me. But how do I fix the situation?

Are you an oil giver? Do you save any for yourself? How do you refill you lamp? How can we find a balance between being a loving, giving person and dehydrating ourselves in the process? I need to know beyond the basic Sunday School answers. (prayer, scripture study) Or, maybe I just need to recommit myself to the Sunday School answers.

I don't want to be left out in the dark because I'm all dried up. Do you?

(My husband, Dave, does not agree with this take on the story. I'll let him post his rebuttal in the comments section! )


Dave said...

Okay here's the way I see it...

A person who gave and gave until their own supply was gone would most certainly NOT be turned away by the Saviour at the door.

President Kimball spoke on this topic many years ago, and he likened it to our testimonies of the gospel. For a time, we can rely on others testimonies, but there will coma a time when the final call is made, that we all will have to have our own testimony.

Part of the parable talks about the 5 foolish virgins who not having any oil in their lamps asked the 5 wise virgins for oil.

According to what Pres Kimball said, that would equate to us asking someone to give us their testimony so we could get through the door. It wont work.

Then the 5 foolish virgins were told to go to those that sell, and purchase more oil.

With a testimony, that would mean going to church, praying, reading scriptures, living the gospel, etc.

The 5 foolish virgins returned with oil, but by that time it was too late. They waited until it was too late to build their testimony. Too little too late.
No deathbed repentance.

So, DramaMama... One of your best features is how much you care about people, and you truly give of yourself for their betterment.

Try this concept on for size:

Your oil is replenished through service to others.

WHAT?!?!?!???? <--- Dramamama said that :)

Let me explain. You are going through a bout with people DEMANDING your time, this is what has drained you.

The type of service that you excel at is genuine love and concern for others that you CHOOSE to help. That is where you replenish your oil.

Others know that you are this way, and unfortunately soul-sucking fiends glom onto you and take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

I don't know of a sure-fire cure for total drainage of soul-batteries. I do know that you need a lot of time off. You need to escape everybody and have you time.

Hopefully soon once your mom and dad are settled, we can sell the kids to them, and you can have a much needed break.

I love you so much, and often marvel at how much you deal with and put up with. You are amazing.

Lavinia Ladyslipper said...

I always tell my over-worked girlfriends the same thing. You have to TAKE the time for yourself because NO ONE is going to give it to you.

Call it what you will...recharging the batteries is the best way I put it....and it works. Do something alone...away....just for you....

It works! (Do I sound like an info-mercial here?) Best wishes to you...

Nikki said...

Wow, I agree with you and your husband these are one of those things that make you think. I like the comment above. Remember you are a giver, in order to do what you do best give and care for other's you must remember yourself. Otherwise you are unable to do any good for other's

AZMom said...

Awww Dave. That is too sweet!

I agree with DQ though. I think women just give and give and don't think that they need things or time or anything for themselves. It's hard.

Right now I am so tired from fighting for our son at preschool that I literally have nothing left for myself or anyone else. That post will go up tomorrow.

Big hugs to you DQ!

nanatrish said...

Thanks for your comments over at my blog. I think it's an interesting take on the virgins story, but I have to say it does say foolish ones and wise ones. I have always had a tendency to overdo and it really, really doesn't get you too far. It gets you overtired and spent. The only person that can put a halt to all the chaos is you though. Until you decide that you need a change you will continue in the same pattern. I know because I have been there several times before. I agree with Dave, there are some people that will take advantage of your giving nature and squeeze you like an orange and then toss the peel aside. I have been hurt so many times by people I thought I was helping. The Lord knows your heart and He also knows when you need to rest. Please listen to your heart and take a break. The world won't stop turning. I promise.