Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”John 4:13-14 (NLT)
On Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri, a nice long boat ride from our Playhouse, you’ll find Ha Ha Tonka State Park. It’s an annual summer destination for us. Park the boat at the dock and walk down the winding path along the banks of the cove. Deeper and deeper it goes as the cove narrows. Eventually, you arrive at a natural spring where water continuously flows from deep inside the Earth. I’ve stood there many times watching as water ceaselessly flows from that spot, seemingly out of nowhere.
Today, as I read Jesus’ words I thought about that spring in the Ozarks and all the water ceaselessly bubbling out of it. We call it a “source.” The place from which water flows. What Jesus told the woman at the well in today’s chapter was that He was the Source of Life-giving, spiritual thirst quenching, eternal flow.
What is the Source of flow in my daily life? That’s the question I’m asking myself today. Where is it that I seek after energy, acceptance, peace, esteem, provision, healing, or anesthetic? Am I seeking after the Source in a bottle, a relationship, a walk-in closet, a paycheck, a gadget, a job, or a jackpot? It’s interesting how Jesus contrasted the water the woman wanted to give Him with the flow about which He was speaking.
You know you’re seeking after the wrong source if after a taste it always leaves you thirsty and seeking for more.
Ishmael’s reason for dumping the bodies into a cistern was to cover up the earlier murder of Gedaliah. Jeremiah 41:9a (MSG)
In my study group, we’ve been utilizing an exercise called Morning Pages. It’s really simple. First thing, when you get up in the morning, write three pages long hand. Just write whatever comes to your mind. Keep the pen on the paper and keep writing. Don’t think. Don’t filter. Don’t stop. Just write.
One of the men in my group commented that the first time he’d done this study, when he first used this exercise, he was shocked at what came out in his Morning Pages. I understood. In my own experience of doing Morning Pages over the years, I’ve experienced the same thing. We are often unaware of what we have stuffed in the cracks and corners of our soul.
Our souls are deep cisterns. Over time, like Ishmael, we throw a lot of nasty stuff in. Then we pile stuff on top to hide the stench and cover it up. Eventually, it gets piled so deep that the flow of living water gets stopped up. Maybe there’s something seeping to the surface, but there’s definitely not a steady flow from the source. Sometimes our well clogs completely. It dries up. Morning Pages is an exercise that purges the soul and helps return the flow.
Jesus said “repent and be baptized.” What a great word picture. Purge yourself of the rotting, dead stuff in your soul, then plunge yourself into living water so that your well is filled. It’s not a momentary event, but a life long process.