Like Water For Ignorance

Don’t you hate it when someone drinks half a bottle of water and leaves the rest lying around, especially if you bought it? Huge pet peeve, right? But, you’ve done it too. You’re hanging at a friend’s house and they offer you a water, you happily accept. Through the course of the evening, somewhere in between pillaging the snack table and shouting answers to Catch Phrase, you set your water bottle down and forget it exists. This is not intentional, of course, but that doesn’t matter. You may as well have poured it into their Blu-Ray player while laughing in their face. They paid money for that water, and when you leave they will spend the next several hours picking up the half-empties you and their other loser friends left for dead. What a waste.

Confession: I used to be even worse. Up until about two years ago I used to brush my teeth with the faucet on, the whole time. One minute and twenty seconds (I’m hygienic like that) worth of clean, cold tap water flowing down the drain. I thought nothing of this. I was going to have to rinse at some point, so it made sense to have the water ready to go.

Then I saw a video from a little organization called Charity: Water. Perhaps you’ve heard of it. People partner with them by giving up birthday and Christmas gifts in order to fund the construction of clean water wells for third world countries. Why? Every day there are people drinking from disease infested mud puddles and ponds in order to survive, many of them becoming seriously ill, and even dying. Charity: Water is changing this and giving them access to safe, clean water. They are literally saving lives.

And I was just the jerk letting the water run. Now, I can’t even turn on a faucet without thinking of this travesty, and the beautiful mission seeking to correct it. I try to conserve water now, and I’ve even raised money to help. I credit this to a change of perspective. My eyes were closed in ignorance, and now I see the impact of every drop wasted.

I wonder what would happen if this carried over into concern for the eternal. What if I stepped out of my bubble and noticed the drought all around me? People are thirsty, and because they don’t see another way, are drinking from the mud holes and cisterns of sin. Meanwhile, I’ve been given the water of life (Jesus Christ) and somehow act like it’s common, like it flows in every home. Shame on me. I could a lot learn from the woman at the well in John 4. When she found this water, she told her community. She brought them to the source. Christ moved her heart and opened her perspective. He even poured himself out on our behalf. Lord, I don’t want to be the jerk just letting the water run.

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