Monday, June 22, 2009

Refreshing Water

Pikes Peak towers tall and proud over the city of Colorado Springs. The lure of the mountain calls to many not only from the local area, but from all over the country as well. It is a badge of merit to be able to say, “I hiked the Peak!”

In 1989 I decided to get that badge of merit for myself. My friends and I decided to ride the cog railway up to the summit that 4th of July weekend. On our backs we carried a tent, our food, our sleeping bags, and water. We rode up and then hiked the fourteen miles down.

Barr Trail is a beautiful hike and is dotted with clear, pristine streams. The water runs cold and beckons to thirsty hikers. However, drinking of these streams will satisfy only temporarily. As beautiful and cold as they are they also harbor bacteria that can cause stomach distress. Hikers are frequently warned not to drink of the streams.

As we started out we had water. Over the course of the two-day hike we ran low on water. It was hot out there and even downhill the hike can be strenuous. By the middle of the second day we were weary and thirsty. Our water had run out earlier that day. Eager to finish the hike and knowing that there was a drinking fountain awaited us at the end of the trail my friend and I ran the last mile down the path. Arriving at the bottom we pushed each other out of the way as we took turns refreshing ourselves with long drinks. The water was warm but it quenched our thirst and we drank deeply to replenish our supplies.

Life is like that hike. It can be beautiful and strenuous at the same time. It can suck us dry and leave us weary. We all have multiple responsibilities. We raise families, go to school, work nine-to-five jobs, do housework and laundry and grocery shopping, volunteer, attend church, and are active in our communities. Sometimes it seems the further along we travel on our life path, the faster the world spins. Daily life can drag all the energy out of our souls.

Yet in the midst of it all there is water to refresh us. There is a way to quench our thirst and replenish our strength. The Bible offers the answer to our thirst. John 4 tells us where to find the sweet, living water that saturates our soul and prepares us for all that comes our way. “Jesus answered, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’” John 4: 13-14

When I began the Apprentice program through the Christian Writer’s Guild, my mentor reminded me in response to one of my lessons that I needed to remember to drink deeply from the well of living water. Without that refreshment of drinking deeply from the well it is easy to get overwhelmed with all of the responsibilities of life. It is not easy, but the answer is in John 4. The answer is to drink deeply from the well of living water. Only when you regularly fill your soul with the cool, sweet, refreshing living water will you be able to fully use the gifts God has given you.

So, take time, sit at the well with Jesus, enjoy the refreshment of a cool drink of the water of life.

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