Water is on our minds these days in West Virginia, as you’ve probably read about the chemical leak that is now preventing some 300,000 households from clean drinking and bathing water. It’s an inconvenience to be sure, but as Fr. Stephen reminded us at Liturgy this morning, ‘be mindful of the millions of people throughout the world who never have access to clean drinking water. We are inconvenienced by driving to Kroger to buy bottled water.’
Our family is fortunate; we live a distance away from the chemical leak and obtain our water from a different source. We’ve offered to help where we can. Thankfully, the people we know have plenty of water to drink. It’s a process and I fear it may be a few days yet before our neighbors will have access to clean tap water in their homes.
All this talk and reading about water has got me pondering more on my favorite Gospel, that of St. John and Christ’s famous words in chapter four:
14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”
This is part of the conversation Jesus had with the woman at the well. He makes a distinction for her between temporal water and the waters of eternity, the joyful spring that flows from the Holy Spirit. The waters of eternity that not only satisfy and quench, but creates in the person a well in which to draw toward eternal life. I delight in this encounter with the woman of Samaria; it's full of hope and promise. Her amazement at meeting Jesus is palpable, not just because of the words about the water He gives, but he goes on to tell her all things she had done in her life. She is so astonished she leaves her water pot at the well to go running into town. There she beckons her friends to come and meet the Christ!
This is just one of many references in the New Testament to the life giving water of God. Today this passage provided a much needed reminder that I am to seek God for that Living Water continually. It is a spring, ever flowing and regenerating and yet I endeavor to find in the world what I believe to be nourishment. This happens because I am lazy; indulgence brings fog as C.S. Lewis said.
I tend to look for nourishment in relationships and material things. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t as though those things are bad in and of themselves. It’s just that one can place unreasonable expectations on those things when we look to them to satisfy the desires of our heart. The purest desire of the human heart is a longing for love --an unconditional, all encompassing love and acceptance. God is the source, the origin of that love. We are told on more than one occasion in the Good Book that if we seek God, we shall find Him.
I plan to do more seeking in 2014... to draw nearer to God and exclude frivolous things from daily living. For the grace that He gives is everything that I long for. I must stop believing the lie that satisfaction and harmony can ever be found in this world apart from Him.