Monday, September 13, 2004

a perpetual spring

yesterday when i woke up i meditated as is my common practice.i am currently reading through the prophet isaiah and have been pleasantly surprisedto see how man references there are to redemption and renewal, to restoration and even sanctuary. as i kept reading and thinking about my reading it made me think about spa items.there is a vast proliferation of spa items in the marketplace right now. i know this because wehave been researching what is being done and figuring out what we shall provide our clients that is innovative and different. the same words are used tirelessly from the main names to descriptions of products. words like restoration, and renewal... so this got me i see it, all of us recognize that we need restoration, our lives lack renewal. we are tired and worn down. our lives are crammed with activities, production and overall busyness. what we crave and seek are the adverse of what already exists in our lives. so when you or i go to a store and buy a spa pouch labeled "Renew," what we are really buying is a concept we want to soak into our most inner parts. What ends up happening though is that for a time we soak it in and it affects our externals- our olfactory sense, our porous skin. During the soak it may feel luxuriant and lush, and perhaps truly jettison a person into a space of sanctuary. But the trick is it never we as a people keep looking for new ways to be renewed and restored. and no matter whether we think it lies in an indulgent vacation or enticing experience, they too never last.i was reminded of an encounter jesus had with a samaritan woman at a well. how she had gone there to draw water, not aware that she would have a life-altering interaction. jesus sits down for a spell and asks her for a drink because he is thirsty. she quickly responds that he is a jew and she is a samaritan. (the two people groups didn't have a great deal of exuberance in the other group) why would he ask her for a drink? his response to her is such a pivotal statement in my life. "if you only knew the gift God has for you and who I am, you would ask me, and I would give you living water." But she doesn't quite get what he's saying. She sees he has no rope or bucket and can't understand where he gets this "living water" from because the well they are at is very deep. She recognizes the value of the water drawn from this well of ancient origins, and can't see how what he offers is superior to it. he responds."people soon become thirsty again after drinking this water. but the water I give them takes away thirst altogether. it becomes a perpetual spring within them, giving them eternal life."eternal life. a perpetual spring. sounds enticing right? now she gets it. her candid interjection of asking him to give her some of this water, so as she says, she will never thirst again is met through jesus' piercing way of seeing things as they are. he calls her out and basically through a string of repartee divulges to her her life situation in which she currently finds herself- a pattern that has been repeated for some time in her relational life. she recognizes he has keen insight and believes him to be a prophet. during the remainder of their dialogue she has moved from a place of disinterest to excitable interest. so much so that she leaves her water jug at the well, runs back to town and proclaims, "Come and meet a man who told me everything I ever did! Can this be the Messiah?" after which the people follow her back to the well. they want to see this man and see if it is possible... could he be the Messiah?and we today are no different. we want to be renewed, restored, revived. but there is a price. we have to move from unbelief to belief- a radical one really that claims God is alive and in our midst and He can still give us this living water. He can see our deepest hurts and darkest moments, call them what they are, and invite us to move beyond them, invite us to know ourselves as He knows us, as He knows we can become. but we have to accept this gift of His, realizing the well we are drawing from in our own lives is very deep, but its nourishment is very temporary. very temporary. when we offers lasts eternally. what a comparison.come let us embark on a journey of being renewed. of finally being restored. of gratefully entering into and abiding in His sanctuary.


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