I was digging through some old folders, when I came upon the following story. It comes from an article written by a colleague.
There was once a mountain village which had an obscure employee who was called the “Keeper of the Spring.” He lived alone, high above the town, and kept the water supply, a spring that flowed fresh and pure. He removed old logs, weeds, and dead animals from the pool that formed where the spring bubbled up, keeping the stream that flowed down into the town beautiful and pure. He was somewhat of a hermit, rarely seen, and caring little for company. Though the townspeople knew of him, they rarely saw him or interacted with him.
One year the small country suffered from a slumping economy and the council members of the little mountain village found their budget under assault. They were faced with the issue of making difficult choices regarding financial cuts. Various special interest groups applied pressure, and of course education, social services, and city services remained high priorities. It was not an unusual situation, but it was one that they hadn’t faced in many years – not in the lifetimes of most of the city’s governing body. They finally decided they would eliminate the position of the keeper of the spring – they hardly saw him and his work was not readily apparent to most people, and it would balance the budget.
After a few months, a terrible sickness broke out and killed many people in the village, including many children. By firing the keeper of the spring to save a few dollars, they had caused contamination of the life-giving water supply. Of course, they immediately rehired the keeper of the spring, but that did not restore those who had died as a result of their poor judgment.
This story is a parable. Sometimes life is good and we don’t think about God. Sometimes life is so hectic and chaotic that we have to streamline our lives and we eliminate God. Sometimes we are so busy that we choose other activities instead of God. We often choose the best of everything we can for ourselves and our families, but do we choose the life-giving water that flows from God in Jesus Christ? Do we seek the best spiritual renewal and care to keep the foundations of life intact? Sometimes it is easier to eliminate something when there appears to be no visible result or need, but the damage may already be done before we finally realize the hidden cost. I hope you will use this Lenten season to spend your time where it will truly make a difference – in prayer, in reading the Bible, in attending church services, and in attending the Lenten lunches. Invest yourself in the Keeper of the Spring of Life.
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