Friday, November 11, 2011
Dig Some Wells for Others Along the Way
A Winston-Salem columnist reminded his readers that self-focused living now surrounds us, and we cannot deny the escalation of “meism” in our society today. Delayed gratification is basically non-existent. Replenishing what we have taken is rarely a priority. Oblivious to the biblical principal that future generations suffer from the myopia of their ancestors, people continue to take, take, and take.
Roger Pearman illustrates from his own experience how we can reverse this and find hope. When he was five years old he was spending a long, hot summer at his great-grandparents farmhouse 50 miles past Spivey’s Corner in Sampson County, N.C. Play was hard due to the heat. Every few minutes he had to find a cool spot to rest.
On one particular day, he dipped the bucket into the well and pulled the water up. Once he had the bucket of cool water he poured it over his head and felt a wave of coolness sweep him.
As the cool water calmed his little body, his grandfather walked in and said in his typical terse, clipped way, “Remember boy, we all drink from wells we did not dig.” We share in the bounty of those before us, and it is our responsibility to dig wells for those who follow.
Roger says the importance of this moment did not come to him until years later when he was asked if he was a “self-made man,” to which he replied, “No, I have drunk from so many wells dug by so many people that the question makes no sense to me.”
We have all quenched our spiritual and emotional thirsts from the wells dug by those who have gone before us. I wonder…as you and I glance behind us at the next traveler coming down our same road, do we see them with bucket and dipper in hand drinking from a new well dug by us?
Mark T. White is the pastor of First Baptist Church of Clayton, NC. This article first appeared in their church newsletter, The Outlook.