There's nothing quite like a warm shower. Whether it gently wakes you up during the wee hours of the morning or soothes your aches and pains after a long, hard workout, the power of that steady stream of water has a way of refreshing not just the body but the mind and spirit as well. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has ever solved a problem or stumbled upon a great idea while taking a shower. I even know someone who keeps post-it notes in the bathroom just to jot down the thoughts and ideas that come to light in the shower!
As good as a shower feels, though, imagine how preposterous it would be to think of being in the shower for a whole day, or even a couple hours. Of course most people's hot water heaters wouldn't make it that long anyway. But even if they did, there would have to come a point when a shower would cease to feel refreshing. In reality, there likely comes a time when it actually feels good to turn the shower off and get out of it.
I think there are other aspects of life where this same idea applies. I remember once I had been listening to uplifting music for a while, and it truly did lift my spirits. It felt refreshing almost the way a shower would feel. But then there came a moment when I had the distinct sense that turning it off was also needed and good.
I suppose almost anything that initially feels like a breath of fresh air will eventually lose its "freshness". Whether it's a warm shower, a cozy blanket or a just-baked chocolate chip cookie, part of what makes it so special is the initial feeling you get when you experience it. It's that moment that makes you let out the breath you've been holding in and say, ahhhhh.
We all long for experiences like these. We want them for our bodies, and we want them for our minds and souls too. But I wonder if sometimes we forget that it's not actually possible to live in a perpetual state of refreshment. Being refreshed only happens in the first place when a person is experiencing something like tiredness or discouragement or sadness - all very natural parts of being human. If we think we can remain constantly refreshed, that means we assume we can somehow bypass a huge chunk of our humanity.
I just finished reading a book called "Garden Maker" by Christie Purifoy, and I am all the more convinced that almost everything we need to know and understand about God, ourselves, and life itself can be learned in the context of gardening. I have to wonder if God created plants and gardens to operate in the ways they do to show us in a tangible way how we are meant to operate.
As I'm writing these words, we are on the cusp of spring - a time when the earth is refreshed. Trees slowly become green, little stems poke through the dirt, and before we know it, our world is full of colorful flowers and new life everywhere. (Oh how I love springtime!)
Whether or not you are an experienced gardener, you can probably name the two things any plant needs to grow and thrive - water and sunlight. However, isn't it interesting that as desperately as plants need both of these things to live, too much of either one will also cause problems? Over-watering plants can cause moldy leaves or root rot, and too much sunlight can cause plants to lose their color or eventually become brown or brittle.
Maybe right now you are desperately needing some kind of refreshment. Maybe you feel like a warm shower would restore you, whether physically, spiritually, or in a whole bunch of ways. As we each continue walking through life, I do hope we all experience "times of refreshing" from the Lord. I also hope we don't feel too discouraged if these times don't last forever. Instead, may we thank God for each warm shower and trust that our ever faithful Gardener knows just how much water and sunlight we need to grow.
Pray with me...
... Father, we pray that all in the ACSD community would turn to You
and experience times of refreshing from You
Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out,
that times of refreshing may come from the Lord Acts 3:19
... Jesus, lead us to love and serve those around us, that You might refresh us all
The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed. Proverbs 11:25
... Lord, we ask for Your healing and protection over the entire BCS and WCA campuses.
Lord, you are the hope of Israel; all who forsake you will be put to shame. Those who turn away from you will be written in the dust because they have forsaken the Lord, the spring of living water. Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise. Jeremiah 17:13-14
Thanks for taking the time to read this blog and pray for Alliance Christian School District! Lord willing, I plan to publish a new blog post weekly throughout the school year. Feel free to subscribe (at the bottom of this page) if you'd like to be notified each time a new blog post has been published. We also have a prayer team that is always open for new pray-ers to join. If you'd like to learn more, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
~ Carrie Warner, ACSD Prayer Team Coordinator
Soli Deo Gloria To God alone be the glory