Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Taste and See, Day Three
...Water... Cool, Clear Water
My co-worker Nancy and I had to take a little road trip today. So, before we pulled out of the parking lot, Nancy did something that would have been unthinkable not too many years ago -- she ran to the grocery store next to the office and bought us water for the trip.
In the "old" days, we would have arrived our destination parched, unless the driver deigned to stop for a drink. Which, since I was driving, would not have happened. My belief is that once you are on the road you should not stop until you get there if it's fewer than three hours away.
So we hydrated our way to Seymour. Between sips, though, I thought about what a luxury this was -- to have cool, clear water sitting in a cup holder, chilled by the car's air conditioner, and right at hand should I want any. It kept my thirst at bay.
And I thought of all those Bible verses about thirst -- from Exodus 17 ("But the people were thirsty for water there, and they grumbled against Moses. They said, 'Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst?'") to Nehemiah 9 ("You gave your good Spirit to instruct them. You did not withhold your manna from their mouths, and you gave them water for their thirst.") to Psalm 42 ("My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?").
And, I have to admit, that when I thought of that passage from Psalms, I felt more than a bit guilty. I could easily remember times when I could say "My soul thirsts for water, for the cool clear water God. When can I go and get some water?" (especially on hot summer days out in the prairie or on my tractor) but when is the last time I was so thirsty for God that I would cry, like the Psalmist, "My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?"
I began to feel a little easier when I reflected that I must have that feeling more than I recognize because, for one, every Sunday (or First Day as some of us Quakers say) I do thirst for worship. I want to join fellow seekers on the way to God in a time of coming before God to learn from Him and each other. And I often leave worship feeling that, while my thirst has been partially slaked, I have been privileged to take sips from a deep well and I need to return more often.
And then I think of Jesus and the woman at the well -- "Jesus answered her, 'If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.'"
I say that's what I want -- living water that leaves my thirst satisfied. But then I think, I'm often too satisfied with my spiritual life as it is. Perhaps a little unrequited thirst is a good thing. A very good thing, in fact, for it keeps bringing me back to the well that never will run dry.