Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Running Dry

A story I heard tonight has stuck in my crawl and I can’t seem to shake it out. It’s a story about one of the most tragic fires in this country and it took place in the town of Itasca, Texas, just before World War II. The tragic fire took the lives of 263 children in an unsprinklered school. Scarcely a family in town was not touched by this horrifying tragedy. The town went a number of years without school facilities, but as it began to grow and expand, a new school was built with a brand new sprinkler system, the best money could buy. Civic pride ran high. Honor students were selected to guide citizens and visitors on tours of the new facilities to show them the finest, the most advanced sprinkler system technology could supply. Never again would Itasca be visited by such a tragedy. Years later, as the town continued to grow, it was eventually necessary to enlarge the school -- and in adding a new wing, it was discovered that the wonderful and advanced sprinkler system the town had installed all those years ago to prevent another tragedy would have never worked had it been called upon. It had never been connected to the city’s water supply!

My heart immediately went out to all those families touched by the devastation and then quickly to all the rest who thought they were under the grand guise of safety with all those gleaming sprinkler heads poking through the ceilings of the classrooms. I imagined how the administrators and school board felt when they found out they had raised all that money, hired all the right people, planned and plotted and built what looked like a very fine place for their children to learn, only to discover that the very thing that would save them when fire came, had absolutely no way of getting to them. Even if the alarms were pulled properly, even if the fire department was called, there would be no water to drench the flames out.

So many times I find myself going through the routine of Sunday worship, small group and fellowship and all those other “proper” things Christians do, except many times, I forget to complete the connection to the main source. I forget to really connect with God and go one-on-one with Him to draw deeper from His power, His guidance and His friendship. Wow. I can do all the “right” things and allow myself to “run dry” when I need a good quenching!

My grandfather, C.W. Cox, was the music leader for a tiny little church at South Sulphur, just outside of Commerce, Texas, and loved the song “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” And even though he is long since gone, he still ministers to me through this song.

What a friend we have in Jesus
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!

Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!

Fortunately, I don’t need an engineer or team of city employees to hook me up. I don’t have to wait for the correct type of fitting or bolt to be ordered or applied. Most importantly, I don’t have to wait until I get everything right. I don’t have to wait until the dishes are washed, the laundry done, all the errands run. I have direct access to God via prayer now. I can connect directly to the main source now. I can do it now, in my jeans or my jammies. I don’t have to wait until I get the right outfit, or all my ducks in a row (and that’s a good thing in my case!). I don’t have to wait until I lose 10 pounds. I can do it now and I can do it often. Friends are better when they are frequently encountered. They get to know you better and you get to know them. What a friend I have in Jesus.

2 Corinthians 4-12

7But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. 12So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

1 comment:

annandemmett said...

Love your blogs, all of them, except this one has a very special meaning and you know what that is.

I can well remember seeing my daddy leading the singing at the South Sulphur Baptist Church. I also remember "What A Friend We Have In Jesus" was his favorite song. He also had another song that was also his favorite, "I Believe In A Hill Called Mt. Calvary". When I was about 8 or 9 years old, I began taking piano lessons from daddy's sister, Aunt Jewel and the very first song I learned to play was "What A Friend We Have In Jesus". After I had mastered the playing of this song, I sung and played this song with my daddy at church. By this age, I had discovered "harmony" and sung alto and daddy seemed so proud of me. I have so many wonderful family memories and yes he still ministers to me today also. I thank God for that wonderful christian heritage that was ours through our parents and our grandparents before them.

I wish you well in your writing endeavors and I guess I am a little partial, but I think you are very good at it.