Tag Archives: well

Drink Up…

Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”-John 4:13-14

The spring of the year seems to heighten our awareness of the world around us in so many ways. Walking outside the door this morning after the night’s rain, there was a freshness to the crisp air that brushed past the tiny pink blossoms of the bushes blooming in the front yard. The birds were welcoming as well as the dawning of the day had yet to reach its horizon. There was a sense of urgency, a sense of something to come; everything being so vibrant and alive, at least to those who are in the frame of mind to recognize it. If you have sipped of the well of everlasting life, there is something special about days like this. Please don’t take this sort of rejoicing as someone trying to sound overly righteous, it is simply an exhaltation of the glory of the Father.

Oh, magnify the Lord with me, And let us exalt His name together.”-Psalms 34-3

Sadly, many will not care or will not bother to take the time to notice. Their minds are clouded with the frusttrations and worries facing them in the coming days as they madly dash for the car, expecting it to start and be on their way before the ignition switch is even turned. They continually drink from the resevoir of the secular world where the water jug is never big enough to hold all the fluid to sustain their family. They continally try to seek ways to bring bigger and stronger storage jugs to the well in which to carry back the fluid that only provides momentary satisfaction, then it is gone as quickly as it passes their lips. There is never any sweetness to their life. They seek to fill the void with one worldy substitute after another. Some turn to addictions that never produce the peace they seek until they ultimately find their life lost to the very thing they used to replace God; their worldly obsessions.

We all fall short of the glory of God, but we can become one with the Father if we only seek to drink from the well of His sustenance.

The water from the well analogy is purposeful in that we often seek what cannot sate our insatiable desires.

Once we choose to drink from the water of life everlasting, suddenly the world in which we live takes on an entirely new meaning. Our eyes become opened to untold beauty we beforehand had hurridly passed in the race to achieve more,… day-after-day. It when we begin to drink in the nectar of life as God had intended. Glimpses of heaven on earth begin to tug at our heart strings. We cannot share the pictures before us quickly enough before they are gone; the fleeting clouds rimmed with sunlight so brilliant, it is as if angels are standing behind them praising at the very foot of God almighty; sweet moments of the song bird, serenading in a chorus of blissful melodies at the break of dawn; skies so blue, their very essence substantiates the presence of God watching over us all.

Yes, there is a dipper of liquid so refreshing you will never need another sip, for the rest of your life.

It is up to us to choose to take it.

Knock and the door will be opened.

Seek and yea shall find.

Choose Jesus.

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To Live the Simple Life….

Sometimes I yearn for simplicity in living life.

Many years ago, when I was in my early teens, once a week each summer we loaded the push mower, coolers, and grocery bags of clothes into the old Ford pickup, and then headed down south, deep into the wilds of Kentucky to spend time at the old home place located on the banks of the Green River, somewhere near Sebring. I can recall the long, hot drive with the warm summer winds beating us through the open truck windows. Our skin numbed from the open air ride welcomed the slower pace once we neared our destination. The narrow paved roads quickly vanished into gravel trails with ruts separated by grass paths, which eventually lead to what appeared to be an old abandoned house. This was the old home place of my step-mother’s parents. It had no running water, no indoor old houseplumbing and no electricity. There was a two-seater outhouse and hand dug well, all covered by weeds and vines that had accumulated from the previous year. The vegetation would be so overgrown, that from the front gate, there was hardly a dwelling visible. Just outside the dilapidated front gate would unload our weaponry from the truck; mowers, sling blades, axes and hand saws. Then before the sun would set, we would begin our assault. We always worked the first day on the area immediately around the house and make paths to the vital out areas such as the kitchen, well and outhouse. Before getting too involved, we first would cut the path to the kitchen so the women folk could carry in the food and cooking utensils. I never recalled much past this part since I was always hard at work on the jungle outside. What I came to discover was that the reclamation was as much ongoing inside as it was outside, from a year’s worth of emptiness having being replaced by all manner of spider webs, nests and other surprises. We never heard the screams from inside since the lawnmower drowned them out. Outside, we likewise would always encounter some new infestation or pest that had to be dealt with in order to preserve any semblance of civilization, yet we kept the screaming to a minimum.

It would be nearly dark when the call for supper would come. We had another full day’s work ahead but for now, we had fought to reclaim the yard and area immediately around the house. Sweat laden, weary bodies were glad to find a hot plate of food, regardless if we were able to bath or not. This was the first time I had recalled having SOS. for supper. However, instead of the rich man’s version I found in the Air Force years later made with chipped beef, this SOS was simple and plain, made with homemade sausage and whole milk; simple but the best. The biscuits made from scratch were cooked in the old wood stove on the back porch of the old place, which was still functional. We drank cold water dipped from the long thin pipe that was lowered manually by a rope into the hand dug well. The fresh cold water, hot biscuits and SOS made for a meal fit for a king.

Since we had worked to nearly dark, after supper and a quick bucket wash, we would find our bedrolls and claim our sleeping arrangements for the night. My favorite was the whiskey slat hammock that hung between two oak trees in the yard. From the high end, you could lie through the night and watch the barges move up the river, which was just down the hill from the house. The drop off from the yard to the river was so steep that it would appear that you were eye level with the tops of the barges as they forced themselves up river. More than once, I was awakened during the bargenight by a barge operator who had found my bed in their spot lights and felt it necessary to blow their air-horn, which would nearly roll me out of the hammock. I soon found that covering myself with dark blankets was necessary in order to hide my bed from detection of the practical jokers driving the barges. It was the only way of securing a full night’s sleep. Of course, if rain was in the forecast we would pile into the few beds inside the house, like firewood, in head to toe fashion. I still don’t know how we got any sleep other than the fact we would be so exhausted from working to fight the forest during the day, we quite literally fell off to sleep without any effort.

Once we finally reclaimed the property, one swing of the sling blade at a time, we finally had time to enjoy the wonderful old place and the reason for our recovery efforts. The house set on a bluff that overlooked the Green River. The confluence was deep enough to support barge traffic, which was of course already obvious from the hijinks of the barge captains. The drop off from the tree covered yard to the river was very steep, but somehow there had been a small pasture separating the two with a small pole barn that had seen its share of floods. In order to get to the river you had to follow a path from the yard, through the overgrown pasture, past the old pole barn, to the river bank green river 3below. This is where we eventually would take our baths. Years later, I would recall these first open air baths while I was building my cabin in North Carolina. There too, I would find the open water bathing refreshing and invigorating. Just knowing you were getting clean and taking the risk of being caught doing so seemed to add an exhilaration all its own; barge captains or not.

The rest of the week was spent either fishing, cooking over an open fire or just finding ways to amuse ourselves without T.V. or any other games; there was never enough room in the truck to pack toys. There was a Mulberry tree in the yard that always seemed to ripen during our stay. Here we would find sweet treats and learn the song and game of “Here we go round the Mulberry bush”. It was games like this that soon took the place of the meaningless board games we had left behind. As the week would progress, we would find more about ourselves and how living in the past could still be fun. We often spent time in the evenings reading from the old Bible that was kept in the house and talking about the stories while sitting around the campfire in the yard.

Here we learned what it meant to live with nothing.

I can remember as a between-meal-treat we were given a slice of loaf bread, with butter spread on it, sprinkled with sugar. If we were lucky, we might get to go into the nearby town and visit the old general store and get a soda. The front of the store was the skinny double-door type, which had the  screen  door that creaked when you opened it. Inside, it was dark and cool regardless if it was a hot and humid day. If we wanted to go farther south, it required crossing the river. There was no bridge, only a ferry that would run during the day, when the ferry operator was around. The ferry boat was only big enough for two cars, so heavy traffic was never expected. The ferrygravel road to the south wound around from farm to farm through crop lands of corn, soybean and tobacco. We took this trip once, going somewhere that made my step-grandmother cry; an old graveyard where her family was buried. I can recall the solemn silence, the dust and the trip back to the river and the ferry boat ride back to the other side. We never took the trip to the other side of the river after that day.

Although these annual summer retreats were only short periods in my life, I can vividly recall the feeling of having to create something from nothing; knowing that the amenities of life were not at your fingertips and that you had to plan ahead. Everything from the trip to the outhouse, to the next meal, you had to be thinking in stages and not living for the moment as we so often do today.  I can be thankful that a part of me remembers those few days each year when we would step back in time and live as our ancestors had generations before us.

To know how simple life can become when all else is removed and to focus on what living truly is; this is one of the most precious gifts we can give ourselves.

When life slows down to a crawl and with it, we can once again find out what really matters most; this is what I yearn.

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