Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Empty Wells

Sometimes I surprise myself.  That can be a good thing, but this time I'm surprised at how long it can take me to learn something that I already know.  

We have a note on our refrigerator.  I made it myself and we've had it on our frig, in one form or another, for years now.

It is the five most important things that I (we) need to do everyday.  Five things to be healthy and live well. Five things. Everyday.

Simple, right?

And yet as simple as it is, it so often eludes me.  All too often I allow myself to get distracted from these five simple things and when I do that for very long I inevitably start to feel overwhelmed and empty.  Thirsty. And that's when I start looking for water in empty wells.

Empty wells like my iPad, my phone, my computer, TV, food...things that I think will fill the void that I feel in the moment.  But they never do.  Not really. 

But the thing is, I know where the water is!  I KNOW.  Jesus sat at a well that must have looked similar to this one.  He sat there and explained to the woman who came there for water, that He was the source of Living Water, the water that we all thirst for...

John 4:13-14

13 Jesus answered her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again. 14 But whoever drinks the water that I give him will never be thirsty again. But the water that I give him will become in him a spring of water [satisfying his thirst for God] welling up [continually flowing, bubbling within him] to eternal life.”
I know this.  So why do I keep going to empty wells?  WHY? They distract me for a time, and then they leave me wanting for more.  They don't satisfy. Not for long anyway. They only make me thirstier. 

So, about a week ago I decided to listen to the sign on my frig, specifically, the last one on the list. "Rest". I hadn't been sleeping well for some time which led me to feeling exhausted, which led me to feeling unmotivated, which led me to staying up too late and reaching for something to fill my water bucket.  So, I decided to do two things...go to bed by 10pm, every night, and no technology after going to bed or in the mornings before work.  (Except to play Pandora or read the bible or my book on my Nook app.)  No Facebook, no Fox News, no Wikipedia, no Google. 

No empty wells.

And guess what....I have been sleeping SO much better!  I've been less anxious, better rested.  More present.  I'm not rushing so much in the mornings and usually have time to pack my lunch before work (#3). I'm more focused on praying while I get ready in the mornings instead of checking Facebook (#1), I'm reading my bible before bed (#2), and doing my "not-yoga"  more regularly (#4).

Wow.  I didn't realize until I typed that all out that just making that one change has affected all the other things!  Now, to just keep this going.  That's why it's on my frig, to remind me everyday (because goodness knows that I'm in the frig everyday!)  

I got some confirmation from my son about this recently too.  His phone was damaged several weeks ago, and even though we have insurance on it he was close enough to qualify for an upgrade, which was actually cheaper than paying the insurance deductible and replace his current phone (thanks, rip-off cell phone insurance people).  Anyway, he decided he wanted to wait for the new iPhone 7 Plus which is on back order until November (which he will be paying for 100% himself, btw).  As we were driving the other day, he told me that he has actually felt happier being without his phone.  He is more relaxed, and I have noticed him spending more time with us, talking face to face

Imagine that?!  I'm almost glad that he wrecked his phone!  (Almost.)

So...listening to Pandora this morning and this song came on.  It was just what I needed to hear today.

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