Thursday, February 18, 2010

Day 2 of the Journey -- Thirst

Today I wasn't such a nice person. I was easily annoyed. I was impatient. I spoke my mind when maybe I should have held my tongue. And I don't have any excuse for it really and am thankful that I live under grace as a result. However, perhaps my actions were compounded by something else. Now I'm not making an excuse for myself, but what I'm about to mention couldn't possibly have helped the situation.

So, today in my "Hole in Our Gospel" Study Guide, I was asked to forsake water for 12 hours in order to have a deeper understanding of what many people in the world experience daily. I didn't think it would be nearly as hard as it was. I've fasted on a few occasions (need to work on bettering that!), but I love food much more than I love water so I thought it might be easier. Boy was I wrong!

I woke up and my first impulse was to get a drink of water. My mouth felt dry and had that uncomfortable just-woke-up feeling, but I held off my urge to wash it away. Since we've putting together the new house, I've been going to bed much later than usual and waking up early. It was 6am and I needed an energy boost. I thought about some coffee. But realized that wouldn't be possible without water. And so the day was off to a shaky start. All day long I had that dry feeling in my mouth. And the funny thing is, I didn't crave juice or pop or any other beverage -- just plain water. By the time the end of my water fast arrived, I grabbed a glass and guzzled down as much as I could. I thought if I didn't I might snap, and I didn't feel like being a jerk anymore!

As I reflected on the day, I realized that having no water was difficult for me while I was merely sitting at a computer in a room at perfect temperature -- in other words, I wasn't enduring scorching temperatures or having to do some kind of physical labor that was toilsome and burdensome. I couldn't imagine being in a place where it's excruciatingly hot and on top of that I have to walk for miles looking for water and then if I find it, lugging it back all the miles I've already walked. (This was definitely a good activity for me to do considering the fact that the story I'm sharing this summer through World of Difference is all about the global water crisis in Haiti! )

I know that mine was a simple little sacrifice compared to what other people are really facing, but it definitely taught me how much I take water for granted and how much I crave it when I can't have it. I guess it's easy to do the same thing with God too. And that reminded me of a story that I once read. It goes like this:

Each day a young student would ask his teacher, "How shall I find God?" And his teacher would tell him, "Through desire." The student protested, "But I love God with all of my heart. So why haven't I found him?" Well, it just so happened that one day the teacher and student were passing through a river. Unexpectedly, the teacher took hold of the student's head and pushed it underwater, holding it there. The student began to panic, his arms were flailing as he struggled to reach the surface. After a few minutes of this, the teacher finally let go and the student emerged gasping for air. "Why did you do that?" he asked angrily. The teacher simply said, "When you are given the grace to gasp for God the same way you were gasping for air, you will know that you have found Him."

I want to have this kind of a desire or thirst for God. The Bible says that Jesus gives us living water. And just as my body craved water over juice, pop or any other beverage -- so I hope that I would thirst for God more than I thirst for anything else. And I pray that I wouldn't take Him or any of the blessings He's given me -- including water -- for granted.

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