Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Water.

For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, --Matthew 25:42

Living as Christians in the United States, we often think of water as a metaphor. Pastors tell us to consider "living water" and how it paints a picture of grace and salvation. Community leaders explain that new funds will act as renewing water, bringing life back to an area that has gradually transformed into a rough or poor part of town. The list goes on and on. We see water as a symbol of purity, of beauty, and of nourishment.

The strange thing, to me at least, is that most people in the world, when pondering water and its qualities, think of just one thing: H2O. The clear, wet stuff you get from a lake, a creek, a well, or the sky. It is something to be obsessed over, simply because it is so rare. This isn't strange because it's odd to consider water literally, but because we so rarely do. Sure, we think to ourselves once or twice a day, "Hmm, I'm thirsty. I could go for a glass of water." or "I should really turn on the sprinklers, the grass looks a little brown." but rarely "I need water right now."

I went golfing over the weekend in Wisconsin. Tyler's dad got us a reservation at Blackwolf Run, one of the nicer courses in the country. (Need proof? They're playing the Women's PGA Championship there soon.) Besides the wind that conjured up a sandstorm or two, which I wouldn't have had to deal with at all had I avoided a hundred yard long bunker, it was fantastic weather. The sun was shining, and the thermometers topped out at around 90-92ish degrees. Some holes went well (I had a birdie and a few pars), and others not so well (I had a 10, an 8, and way too many 7's), but one theme remained constant throughout the round: incredible thirst.

I'm not going to claim that I was on the verge of extreme dehydration, but I took advantage of the water coolers at alternating holes without fail, and often multiple times. It was shocking to me how thirsty I could get within the 20-30 minutes it took us to play two holes of golf.

While having a little pity party for myself, trying to keep my spirits high, while waiting for my turn to take a whack at my ball I realized that the slight dehydration I was feeling is what many in this world feel at best over the course of a day.

This isn't the first time I've thought about the problem of water scarcity, or even the first time that I've decided I should play a part in alleviating its effects, but I'm going to make a mental note now that I plan to actually try to do something about it at some point. I am in a position now where I can contribute monetarily a bit through my tithing, but someday I will do more than that. I'd appreciate it if someone could give me a call or shoot me an email in 5-10 years and ask how I'm doing with that commitment.

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