There’s a small(er) town near here with water that, um…smells. Water isn’t really supposed to taste, much less smell, at least in my thinking. I would go on record by warning anyone who visits this place to definitely not buy a fountain drink in town. I am told that our town used to have water-plus also. Sometime in the semi-recent past, the town fathers decided to go with something called “third-stage water treatment”. I don’t know what that means, and although I still like to have bottled water in the house when we have guests, I’m definitely okay with drinking our H2O for myself, especially after visiting our little neighbor a few miles away. Water of course, even the odiferous kind, is life-sustaining. Perspective, I guess.
Water is an apt comparison that Isaiah uses when he speaks of “pouring out that with which you sustain your own life”, as mentioned in last the couple of blogs. We have important talents and experiences and qualities that help make us who we are, and we need to unafraid to share those when the opportunities arise. But here’s an additional thought:
Lest I think Isaiah’s encouragement is giving me carte blanche for making my big splash in the world, a cautionary note is in order. It can be quite tempting, after identifying what seems to be a special talent or personal “pearl”, to allow (or even worse, promote) myself as the focus in the situation. I love the account of Peter and John after Jesus had risen, hung out for a few days and then returned home. These two newly renewed men were walking into the temple when they saw a beggar, lame and sitting by the building asking for money. Now lots of us grew up with the Sunday school song that was Peter’s reply, “silver and gold have I none, but such as I have, give I thee: in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” And the end result was pretty cool.
But what a lot of us old time Sunday-schoolers might have missed, is actually the first thing Peter said to the beggar. He said,
“Look at us!”
After which, he proceeded with the other words (although I doubt that he sang them….) My point is this—the reason for any attention being on me is not about me, at all. I may have the best tasting, thirst quenching water ever created, but the water itself belongs to the One who created it; in fact, to put it succinctly, Jesus calls Himself the “living water.” Now, I am to allow myself to be “seen”, which speaks to a certain level of vulnerability of course, but this personal visibility is to be immediately reflected upon God, who alone knows how to utilize the gifts He so wisely puts within us.
So, yeah, bottoms up!