My oldest daughter rarely is thirsty. This starkly contrasts with our middle child, who, camel-like, can drink impressively large quantities and then ask for a refill. But not our oldest. She'll come home from school, ask for a snack, and barely touch the cup of water or juice that I poured for her unless prodded.
I know the half-pint of milk during lunch or the morning trip to the water fountain really can't be enough to hydrate her.
Yet, she doesn't feel thirsty. She's content to feed her thirst. I must remind her to drink.
You would think that we would have a better grasp of this basic physical need, but many of us confuse the cues for thirst with the cues for hunger. We eat when we should drink. We feed ourselves when we should hydrate ourselves.
I suspect that this is true beyond the physical realm.
I recognize my need to be spiritually restored and refreshed on a regular basis, but I often don't feel thirsty. I sense a gap, a hole, an unsettled check in my spirit, but instead of coming to God and drinking, I feed that gap with other means -- staying up late into the night in an attempt to grasp the elusive sensation of being caught up with work, crashing on the couch in front of the TV for mindless downtime on nights when I simply cannot work any more.
It's not satisfying. When your body needs a glass of water, eating a brownie, however enticing, won't do the trick. You may be fooled for a moment as you're chewing and swallowing, but it won't fulfill your actual need. The same principle goes for when your spirit needs to be refreshed. You need to drink living water, not to binge on distractions.
I need to remind myself to drink, especially when I don't feel thirsty. Jesus reminds us, "If anyone is thirsty, come to me and drink" (John 7:37).
That's where real refreshment is found.
Photo compliments of Angus (flickr.com)