On Monday my kids and I were cleaning up the aftermath of this past weekend’s storms. There were a few large tree branches that had fallen and needed to be cut up and moved to the burn pile. My kids were doing a great job of helping me- for about 30 minutes. It was hot and humid and our hard work had all of us drenched in sweat.
**Note** Another result of the storm was the filling up of the seasonal creek that run’s through our property. You couldn’t call this creek a flowing brook, I would liken it to the uniting of orange clayish water mixed with the run off of our neighbors cattle and horse pastures. For the lack of better words, I call it poop water! Oh, and it runs beside our burn pile.
After a couple of trips to the burn pile I noticed that my kids attention had shifted to the flowing poop creek. They took a few small sicks and dropped them in the water while watching them flow down stream. With each trip to the burn pile my kids would spend more time over by the creek watching their sticks float. It was not long before I heard them begin to challenge each other to jump the creek. I rebuked their challenge and again told them to stay away from the water.
Upon the next load I noticed that my kids not only decided to disobeyed my direction but they were now thigh deep, splashing each other with the poop water!! I would love to say that I gently corrected them and lead them out of the mess and cleaned them up, but I’m gonna be real with you. I was disgusted, angry and fearful all at the same time. I was not calm, cool and collected -irate would be the more accurate description.
As I walked my pouting kids up to our house for their hose down before sanitizing them I asked, “What were you thinking?! What made you believe that it was okay to splash around in poop water?! Y’all know how disgusting that water is!” My daughter said, “Well mom, we were hot! And that water looked so refreshing!” I said, “Really? You thought that was refreshing? Child, I will turn on the water sprinkler, you don’t go to that junk to cool off!”
I have been told that one day I will look back at this story and laugh, and that is probably correct. But I’m sharing this story with you for this point: What are the things that you and I are going to for refreshment that are really just poop water?
I know it is the beginning of summer and many of us are ready for a break- we’re ready for refreshment. The tendency for most of us is to go to the wrong source for refreshment. We say we need to “destress” our schedules and remove the things that are running us ragged but the first thing we remove from our schedule is our time with God. The one thing that is actually the source of pure, healthy, life-giving refreshment- and we remove it. We have been fooled to believe that certain activities are going to give us the refreshment we need.
Please hear me, I am not saying that vacations are bad or that taking your kids to summer camp is bad, what I am saying, is that all of those activities that we cram into our schedules are not going to bring the joy, rest, excitement or refreshment that we long for. In essence it is really just poop water.
I want to challenge you, this summer to tap into the things that are proven to give you the refreshment your body needs. Don’t cut out the things that are truly life giving. Like taking an early morning walk, just you and God enjoying His creation. Or drinking some coffee while tuning into what God is trying to communicate to you. Maybe you could spend some time just worshiping Him or even connecting with some life-giving friendships.
You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars or go a million miles to get the kind of refreshment that your soul longs for. It just takes a willing and open heart that will just be with God.