My favorite class to teach is about the local Greek culture. Living by the sea, water is a major part of the Greeks' lives. From swimming to strolling along the boardwalk to boating, water is in the view of the Greeks, especially in the summertime. Half of my class is lecture; the other half is experiential. We learn best by DOING, so the HUGers are assigned to get out into the local culture and participate in different activities. Then they reflect on them for a grade in my class. This sailing blog entry is by two HUGers -- Angie and Harli.
HUGer Angie says:
HUGer Harli says:
While we were out on the sailboat, we were surrounded by water. Sometimes it is easy for me to see the water around me and think that water will supply me with the basic living essentials I need. However, in John 4:14 Jesus tells us ‘Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” Again, in John 7:37-38, Jesus reminds us that “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” I think this is such an important passage that I do not always remind myself of. God has provided us the water, but if we look only to the water for strength and satisfaction, we will not be strengthened. We must look to the Giver of the water for that strength and satisfaction. We cannot love the water more that the water Giver- the true thirst-quencher.
I think sometimes I can become so involved and wrapped up in the good things God has surrounded me with that I forget to stop and think that God, in fact, gave Himself to me. On top of that, He gave me these gifts in an even greater pursuit of my heart. He desires me to enjoy the things He provides, but He wants me to enjoy Him more. Sitting out in that little sailboat, we were surrounded by water. It was easy to think I had everything at my fingertips if I were to need it for survival. If we allow it, this is what the world can become to us. It can look like we have everything right at our fingertips. However, if I am not acknowledging that God has given those good things to me, ultimately, I have nothing.
While thinking about that thought, I began to turn my focus to how I do see God in the water. Water is vast with great depth. Water gives life, and it can completely consume you. It is mighty and powerful, yet so calm and peaceful. To many others, and myself water is very mysterious. We have this idea that if we figure everything there is to know about the water out that we will have accomplished something great. Though at times mystery is frustrating, there is beauty in the unknown. Turns out, the more we explore, the more we find out we know little. This then stirs us up to explore and learn even more because we are thirsting for more, which made me think of one of my favorite verses in Psalm 107. “For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.”
With all of this said, when we turn our attention to the Giver of the water, we don’t allow our focus to be just on the water itself. When we take and drink form the water of God, we will have springs of eternal life. That is what I hope to fill my heart with. Not just the gifts and beauty we are given, but the One who has given to use everything. I have heard that ‘water’ is mentioned in the bible right at 700 times. Beginning in Genesis 1:2, flowing throughout, and ending in Revelation 22:17. After reflecting on this experience I can understand why it is so important to seek the true meaning of water. Water will not only provide for us physically in this life, but it will always sustain us spiritually.