“The missionary looked back over the golden ripples strewn about the desert but with eyes fixed on an emerald gem of vegetation that gleamed in the sun. It was months ago that the villagers suffered with no water but together with the missionary, their thirst had peaked and in desperation they dug down deep into the sand until a spring came bubbling up. Its waters were crystal, pure, ever flowing and seemed to have no end, so the missionary built a well there. After time, those who could make it to the well on their own began to help others who couldn’t; the old, the lame, the outcast. The villagers themselves ran as far as they could to find those who were thirsty. The missionary smiled wearily, hard lines stretching across a dry face. So much work had been done, and much more was needed, but the months, the planning, the digging in the searing sun, had all taken its toll and the missionary plopped down onto the ground exhausted. That’s when a child appeared, eyes staring, a big green leaf cupped in his hands that dripped with water.
“This is all I could bring without spilling it, drink, you haven’t in a long time…”
From the wisdom of elders in Christ and those who have come before me in the mission fields, I share this one blessed reminder: the relationship with the fountain of life, Jesus Christ, is more important, more vital, than the work. Make time for deep prayer, biblical meditation, solitude with the One who gives us the holy work to do in the world. Make time to sip from the well.