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By Mike Mccauley on
Mike Mccauley
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Mar 17 in Musings
For the last six years, I’ve flown up and down the Pacific Coast many times between Los Angeles and our hometown of Seattle. Since our parents, siblings and one child are all in Seattle, that 2 ½ hour flight is very familiar. For six years, the pattern has been identical: Take off from brown, dry, dusty Southern California. Land in the green, damp, mildew-y Pacific Northwest. Then take off from evergreen-dominated Seattle and arrive in parched Burbank. Repeat. Many times. Brown to green and back to brown- six years, over and over.
Until this year. A striking new pattern has emerged. Drive past bright green, luscious Griffith Park, take off from Burbank while gazing at the emerald-cloaked San Gabriel Mountains and land in Seattle. Take off from Seattle and re-enter verdant SoCal. What has happened?! It can be summed up in one word: water.    

The difference that significant winter rains have made in Los Angeles is shocking.
Two-foot weeds are springing up in our garden. My infant desert cactus collection has soared in height. A cactus that had previously grown an inch or two a year has put on 8-10 inches. Our fruit trees have a record number of blossoms, which bodes well for lemons and limes and oranges later in the year. The small trickle that is usually the Los Angeles River is a significant volume of water heading downstream. Whole hillsides are blanketed in green grass not visible for the last six years. All of this is the result of...water.

So as I drove back from a meeting in Pasadena this morning, enjoying morning sunlight on the downright verdant landscape, I wondered- what waters us as human beings? What do we really need to thrive, grow, stretch and bear fruit? What makes all the difference?

Once Jesus was thirsty and asked a woman for a drink of water. In the ensuing conversation, he ended up saying “whoever drinks the water I give will never thirst.” Another time Jesus stood up at a festival that celebrated both the harvest and God sustaining his people in the desert exodus and said “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.”

I know it’s simplistic. I know most of us would nod and say “Of course.” But if we want to live like God’s people, like Kingdom people, we need our fill of Christ. Not every six years, but daily and more. We need scripture and prayer and people who point us toward Jesus. We need meditation and repentance and conversation that opens our heart to God. We aren’t pulled to Jesus out of obligation, but out of a desire for more of what brings real growth. And when we aren’t getting it, in short order we begin to feel parched.

It’s Lent. Time to drink deeply, to set aside time and ask “Lord, what is drawing me closer to you? And what is keeping me away?” Our ability to honestly pray these questions might be the difference between trudging along in a dry desert, or frolicking in a fertile garden.
See you soon,
Pastor Dan      

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