Sunday, November 15, 2009

Hydrate

On the journey towards health, I have often marveled at the wonder that is water. Sometimes all I need when I'm tired mid-day and feel like falling into bed for an extended nap is a glass of ice water. And when I'm cold deep down in my brisket, a couple cups of hot water fix me right up. When my post-lunch brain threatens to shut down, a sip or two from the water fountain next to the cafeteria can make all the difference!

I've also noticed that just as often as not, I substitute something else for water. In the morning, coffee. In the early afternoon, a frost DP. In the evening, apple cider. Now, according to Weight Watchers, any type of liquid counts for hydration purposes (other than alcohol); however, I know how much better my body feels when it gets the real water it needs.

Today, Cesar brought up this idea and pointed out that God in His wisdom and knowledge of our nature hides water in other things that are good for us. Fruits and vegetables, for example, are often 60-80% water and chock full of good stuff we need to be healthy. We may avoid drinking a glass of water but fully enjoy a juicy apple or some crunchy lettuce.

The spiritual applications are obvious. Jesus said that the water He gives (umm.... Himself? His Spirit) would be a spring of water welling up to eternal life. There is a thirst in my soul for this Water, and when I quench that thirst by spending time with Him, I find that eternal quality in my life. And I thought today as Cesar munched on an apple during his sermon that there are other good things in my life that help to quench the God-thirst. Franklin Hill, my small group, and Young Life are all places for me to serve and teach and give. I am edified and nourished and loved in ways that simply don't happen in other contexts.

But even as Cesar was making his point, I couldn't help but think of the time when I was training for the marathon and got dehydrated on a run. My body became ridiculously unable to do the simplest functions, like eliminate waste, all because I didn't drink enough water. I didn't need an orange at mile 15. I needed water. Just water.

In the lives of those of us who not only believe in Jesus but seek to follow Him, and serve Him by serving, leading, and teaching others, the need for straight Water becomes even greater. This type of spiritual training requires proper spiritual hydration. If we are gonna lead, we gotta follow Jesus personally and closely. Church, small group, and service all provide a different nutrient to our souls, but in the marathon of spiritual leadership, often we just need Water.

Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." John 4:13-14

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