Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Don't drink the water.

I know I've been writing about our trip for the past several posts and I'm not promising this will be my last. From that you should be able to conclude two things: 1. nothing funny is happening around the house, and 2. I don't get away very often. That being said, I'm totally milking this trip for all I can because, before too long, I'll be cleaning out the litter box of a cat I'm tolerating at best.

Sorry Caddy Woodlawn, but it's true. Totally true.

I've been thinking about all that was discussed among the several speakers at the conference last weekend but there's one story that was told that keeps coming back to me.

Winston Smith was speaking Saturday morning and told of the training of Navy sailors. Engraved into their minds, like eating and sleeping, is the understanding that if they are ever stranded at sea, they are never to drink the ocean water.

It sounded like simple instructions to me, and to Mr. Smith. If you've ever been swimming in the ocean and had the salty water accidentally splash into your mouth, you understand that it might be the very last thing you would ever want to drink on purpose.

Mr. Smith continued to explain, however, that our bodies can survive without food for weeks upon end but water is an entirely different story. After just a couple of days, depending on your circumstances, lack of water is a death sentence. What happens then, to a sailor stranded on the open sea, is that he would look around at all that water and begin to drink it, even if it was just to put something wet in his mouth and, by drinking it, he would only expedite his death.

Ya'll, I'm just like that sailor.

I know I can't be filled by anything but Christ but, when I'm thirsty, I look around at all the things that look refreshing and I gulp them down. I scoop them up by the handful and try to quench a thirst that can only be abated by the Living Water.

Be it affirmation, esteem, praise of my husband, praise of my children, money, home accessories, or this, it is the saltiest ocean water in disguise. It promises to quench whatever is my 'thirst du jour' (I'm totally bi-lingual). When I use it to replace what is genuinely refreshing, it will only dry my very bones.

I, again, and again, keep coming back to the very basics of Scripture. We are created to become thirsty, but it is a thirst that can only be quenched by Him who says this about himself...

...“Everyone who drinks this water will become thirsty again. But whoever drinks the water that I will give him will never become thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become a well of water for him, springing up to eternal life.”

I know so much was said at the conference, and this is certainly not all I learned, but it's simple truth has convicted me once again. We have been given great freedom to live this life surrounded by an ocean of the saltiest sea-water and never needing to drink one drop.

I pray, as we enter this holiday season, I'll take hold of this truth like never before.



Colored With Memories said...

you are funny and deep in the same sentence.

this is why i love your blog!

daughter of the King said...

Thank you for sharing what you learned. It helps those of us who are stuck in the trenches to hear from those on the mountain.

Holli said...

keep'm coming! I am learning from your weekend too!
love an other sailor

Jess said...

Loved reading this Mel...I needed to read this as well. Thanks for this refreshing post, when all I see EVERYWHERE is the materialism of Christmas that has already begun... I hope I can cling to the true celebration this holiday, the birth of our Lord!

Best Life said...

Don't stop blogging about your vacation...the rest of us are vacationing vicariously through you. Plus we love getting a reminder of God's mercy on us right here in the middle of the week. :) Lisa~

Hauswife said...

Amen to that!

Henley on the Horn said...

I just love you & your blog. Thank you for this precious reminder. I am too often focused on the salty water all around me instead of the Life giving water of our Lord! Thank you yet again. I look forward to your blog everyday!

Cara said...

i'm not sure i've ever commented you before...if not, consider this me "delurking". i'm always inspired by your blogs...but especially needed this today! thanks for your funny blogs that make me go "hmmmm".

Lauren said...

Thanks for you words, and for sharing that great analogy. I have found recently that even seeking the gifts of the Lord (peace, comfort, etc.) is drinking the salty water, because all we should be seeking and drinking of is Christ himself. Period. The rest will flow out of that, but if we put the gifts in a place of higher priority than the gift-giver, it's all saltwater, and leaves us thirsting even more than before.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!