on Water

“When the well’s dry, we know the worth of water” Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), Poor Richard’s Almanac, 1746

My grass is looking pretty pathetic. The leaves on a few of my younger trees are starting to shrivel, others are even starting to turn. Everything on my land is dry, dry, dry. For the first time since we moved here, my husband and I have begun to manually water the saddest of all our greenery (I am not looking forward to the water bill next month).  I pray that we get some rain soon, not just for our sake, but for Iowa farmers as well.

All these years we have taken the rain and the rich Iowa soil for granted. We have even grumbled at how even with the littlest bit of rain on a regular basis we have to mow our grass every week, sometimes twice a week. It is amazing how quickly we forget how water really is the most basic element necessary to all life on earth. Without it, life cannot exist.

There are a few other things in life that I think are necessary in order to really live. While water maintains our physical bodies, faith is necessary to our spiritual ones. Like the trees, we will wither and die eventually without the basic elements necessary to support life. However, if we do not have faith, that death will come more quickly, as the withering will then come from within. Without the strong spiritual water of faith coursing through our veins, to give us the strength to weather a coming drought, no amount of physical water will be able to build up what is lacking inside. We were created to thirst for both.

As a community we are here for each other. We share our resources with our neighbors in need, sometimes even when we ourselves are doing without, because we are filled from within with a faith that believes that life is more than just taking and being satisfied. It is more than just stuff.  We are linked with a Creator that formed us for a purpose, with needs that are more than just physical, and with a desire to fill ourselves up with something more lasting. We were created to thirst for the divine in our lives, and I believe that is why Americans mostly remain a people of faith. Fallen and imperfect, yes.  But that imperfection is also part of the connection that we have to each other, and one of those things that pushes us onward to leaving a legacy as evidence of our life’s quest.  Our desire for perfection is what spurs us; our faith is what strengthens us.

Probably most of you who read this are of a Judeo-Christian faith. I too try my best to follow the teachings of Jesus. But perhaps there are a few folks reading this who practice a different faith, or maybe even none at all. If so, please do not discount these words. Whether you agree with me or not regarding the existence of a divine Creator who formed you for something greater than meeting just your physical needs, it is still true that you do have a purpose. You were meant to drink from the water of life, to blossom and bless others with it. My belief on why this is true does not take away from the fact that it is true – I just happen to believe it is because God says so.

Life cannot be sustained just by quenching our physical thirst; we must also quench the thirst to be who we are created to be. It may take an act, or even a leap, of faith. However, like my young trees, we must not allow ourselves to just whither where we stand.

May the rains come soon….and I pray that they be thunderous!

“We forget that the water cycle and the life cycle are one”. Jacques Cousteau (1910-1997) French scientist, explorer and researcher who studied the sea and all forms of life in water

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