“There was a little village that grew up at the foot of a mountain range—a peaceful place with fresh breezes, an ample radiance of flowers, and (most important) fresh water which tumbled down the mountain streams, splashed over waterfalls, and sparkled into the sunlight of the valley where all the streams finally joined forces and bubbled joyously into the town.
The people love this beautiful stream that flowed through their town, with its pure water that one could see right through the smooth stones that formed the riverbed and the fish that fought their way upstream. Children played with their toy sailboats by its banks, millwheels were turned by its force, in the heat of the summer the people drank long and deep from its pure water, never having to fear a thing, and by its farmers’ fields were irrigated.
High up in the mountain, there was an employee of the village, a happy hermit who lived in the forest and earned his living as the “KEEPER OF THE SPRINGS”. It was his job to tend the pools and the springs that formed the source of this sparkling little stream. This KEEPER OF THE SPRINGS would patrol the hills and wherever he found a spring or a pool, he would clean the silt from its surface, scrape away the fallen leaves, sift out all foreign matter that might decompose in the water, so the spring would tumble down the mountainside cold and pure. He took his job seriously, for each day as he set about his task he would think of the townsfolk down below….the children, the babies, the mothers and fathers, the animals who depended upon that clear, pure water for their well-being.
But the City Council was a group of hard-boiled pragmatists who one year scanned the civic budget and questioned the need for this KEEPER OF THE SPRINGS. “Why should we pay for this freeloader to watch our water? We never see him. Surely he is not necessary to our town’s life.” So the City Council voted to dispense with this “unnecessary cost” and the man was forced to look elsewhere for his livelihood. Well, soon the silt began to pile up around the mountain springs. Decaying branches and leaves fell into the pools and decomposed, filling the pure spring waters with cloudy debris. The streams didn’t seem to sparkle as much as they tumbled down the mountainside; the fish were now seen dimly through a cloud of foreign matter. And finally, the City Council admitted its mistake, re-convened, and sent out a search for that KEEPER OF THE SPRINGS to come back and restore their polluted stream to its prior glory.”
I have been thinking a lot lately about that ‘keeper of the springs’ fellow. It’s easy to discount oneself. To start thinking, “they won’t miss me!” Or, “I’m not that important; what do I have to offer, anyway?” Well, guess what? You are important! And yes, you have much to offer the community. In fact, without you the community of faith is not complete without you. You are a unique and blessed creation of Almighty God. As such, you have the power to bless others.
Glad to be your pastor… DON