“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It's not.”
-Dr. Suess, The Lorax

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Are You Thirsty?

During the summertime, I do pretty well at staying hydrated.   The weatherman always reminds me to drink plenty of fluids on those toasty hot days.  Health conscious articles are everywhere telling us how important it is to drink several glasses of water each day.  And if your mouth is dry, guess what?  It doesn’t mean that you are about to be parched; it means you are already somewhat dehydrated.  I think we all would agree – we should drink a good amount of water daily to be in optimal health.  Fair enough.

But what about when it’s not 95 degrees outside with humidity hovering around 100%?  It’s easy to remember to grab a bottle of water when you break out in a full-body sweat just from walking to your car – from your back door!  (I will never understand how I can get so sweaty just from taking 20 steps across my driveway in July.  Disgusting.)  I tend to forget about my need to stay hydrated unless my armpits remind me.  Can anyone relate?   Anyone?

So here we are entering December.  Quite chilly outside, and the heat index is waaaay down.  Almost every day lately I have come to the realization that I have barely had anything to drink, besides with a meal or my daily cup of Joe.  Why?  I haven’t been thirsty.  So it’s cool, right?


Time to do a quick self-check:  dry skin, chapped lips, moth mouth.  Classic signs of dehydration.  I don’t “feel thirsty” – but my body is aching for hydration.   Cold weather is deceptive like that, isn’t it?  And what feels best during cold weather?  Why, of course, things that dehydrate you even more:  hot showers, warm thermostats, and extra coffee (which, ironically, does nothing beneficial in hydrating your body).

 In fact, one of my favorite things to do when I’m fffffreezing is to sit directly in front of a space heater.  A couple of years ago I was huddled up next to my handy-dandy space heater by my desk at work, day after day through the cold of winter.  I started noticing that my hair on the left side of my head (the side I sat my heater on) was beginning to feel crispy.   Now, I’m no beauty expert, but crispy hair doesn’t seem like a good thing to me.  I realized that I had been cranking up the heat waaaay too much and had been toasting my hair.  I probably hadn’t been drinking any water, either.  (For the record, upon that discovery, I went out and invested in some extra warm boots to wear to the office.  My icicle toes didn’t need quite as much help from the heater after that.)      

Ok, ok.  We get it.  Drink plenty of water – even if we aren’t thirsty.  We need it, even if we don’t realize it.  Water is essential to life.  We like to live, therefore we should hydrate. 

Pretty simple, right?  Certainly!

Buckle up.  I’m about to throw this one at you. 

What about the Living Water?  Do I need to drink up the Word daily?  Even if I’m not particularly thirsty?  Because, I’ll be honest, some days I forget that I need it.  I don’t feel thirsty (for God).  I’m not aching for a drink (of Truth).  In fact, during nice, mild days….sometimes several days in a row….I don’t even think about getting a good, refreshing drink.  I’m fine, after all.

Oh, sure, when I have a day that burns me up….I dive right into a refreshing cup of the Word.  Sometimes, gasping like I was wandering in the desert, I crawl like a wounded animal to my Father to seek His Face.  To hear His Voice.  To feel the Comfort of my Lord.  The Scriptures are always there for me when I feel like I could wither up and blow away. 

The Word of God is my cool, sparkling, clear glass of water.  And it hydrates my soul. 

But I need to stay hydrated…even on nice, mild days. 

And then I think about how selfish I am.  How it must grieve my Father’s heart that so often I forget about Him unless I’m thirsty.  Why do I so often exclude the One whom all good things come from when I am content?  I am ashamed to say that often on the nicest of days, I don’t even think about getting a drink.  Or giving thanks for the fountain that never dries up.    

John 4:10, 14
Jesus answered, “If you knew the generosity of God and who I am, you would be asking me for a drink, and I would give you fresh, living water……..Anyone who drinks the water I give will never thirst – not ever. “

So drink up…..and let your cup runneth over.