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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: River (08/31/06)

TITLE: Drink Up and Be Filled
By Joanne Malley


Drink Up and Be Filled

I was nothing but an embarrassed, waterlogged fool.

Allow me to factor in sore legs and sunburn, a painful wedgie and a parched mouth, and you might have guessed I’m referring to my attempt at water skiing.

I was the lady in the water instead of on top of it; the sideshow freak on the river.

The mouthful of murky, foul water from the Manasquan was not my idea of thirst-quenching refreshment. But when you meet a body of water, face first, at roughly 25 miles an hour, you have no time to request an unsweetened ice tea with lemon for your thirst. You’re too busy choking and contemplating permanent facial bruising and readjusting the bottom of your swimsuit to keep the waters family friendly and G-rated.

As bizarre as it sounds, our lives often mimic a hot summer afternoon on water skis. For the most part, we’re gliding along thinking we’re handling everything just fine. We’ve got it all under control and…SPLAT, we’re down for the count because we got caught in the wake of a huge boat. While we’re down, if you’re like me, we may be scrounging for a smidgen of athletic ability as well. We’re also knocked senseless and thirsty from the heat. Soon enough we’re sipping sludge that our bodies weren’t meant to digest. We consume whatever’s available and often what’s not beneficial to us. We’re also plucking forms of sea life from our hair that even marine biologists don’t recognize.

I should have known I was taking on too big of an aquatic task without consulting my “Water-skiing for Dummies” manual first. I was so sure I didn’t need any help; it appeared easy enough. But, when the people on the dock kept screaming, “GIVE IT UP ALREADY, LADY,” I lost all hope to save face. The last straw was when my husband started selling dockside tickets. What else could I do but go back under the water to fish for my pride?

Life comes with a manual too, but many people think they can bypass its instructions. On the contrary, we need it to hydrate ourselves spiritually to keep ourselves afloat. And, for goodness sake, we shouldn’t drink from water that contains the rejected cuisine of seagulls and the digested cuisine of slimy sea critters. There are certainly no pure, thirst-quenching properties to be found there. I sure learned that the hard way.

Think of all those times you’re in contact with someone who’s just heard some bad news. Or, maybe a person you’re with is tear-filled while sharing a heart-crushing story. We don’t know why, but we always offer a glass of purifying water to help them feel better, don’t we? Our souls are in tune to God, and that’s why we do it. He’s giving us subliminal life-affirming directions, but as we’re offering the drink, all we see is the glass.

The springs of Christ are there for the drinking. He wants us to do more than settle for the sludge. He wants us to open wide and gulp in a river of clean spiritual hydration.

The purest, finest, most hydrating water that contains no questionable byproducts or impurities is available to refresh everyone. There is never a chance of dehydration as long as we continue to bring our cup to Him for refills. Better yet, by opening our mouths wide, all the glorious advantages of the Holy Spirit descend on us all.

At this very moment, I’ve got my tall glass of water right next to my “Water-skiing for Dummies” manual. The water is refilled daily and will remain flowing, but the water-skiing manual will remain closed for good. One day of embarrassment is enough for me and so is drinking and spewing out particles of who-knows-what.

From now on, when I go through a river of difficulty and a dry spell, I won’t be gulping down polluted liquid of any sort. I’ll be totally immersed in only the life-affirming river provided by Him.

Besides…no more wedgies for me. I’ve figured out it’s more comfortable to stay on land, sip a cold, unsweetened iced tea with lemon, and watch someone else make an idiot of themselves.

Drink up and be filled.

It’s on Him.

And the angel showed me a pure river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and the Lamb. Revelation, 22:1, NLT.

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This article has been read 1319 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Beth Muehlhausen09/07/06
Definitely cute - although I got more of a "water" theme than a "river" theme! Still, the images of gagging and wedgies and marine life in the hair are fantastic!! Good allusions to the life of the spirit and living water, too. :-)

Jan Ackerson 09/10/06
Oh why, oh why can't more inspirational pieces be like this! You pulled me into the (hilarious) story, then whallopped me with an awesome lesson--then back and forth seamlessly between the two. Awesome!
Joanne Sher 09/10/06
OK you - I was laughing so hard I almost peed in my pants!!! (LOL is that OK to say in a Christian forum?) You do such a SENSATIONAL job of weaving humor and wisdom from His word together into a seamless and hysterically funny tapestry! You really have a gift!
Donna Powers 09/11/06
This made me smile but it was also food for thought. very well done! inspirational. Your description was so eloquent. Thanks for sharing this!
Venice Kichura09/11/06
You should send this off to publication as a devotional. It's excellent!
Sharlyn Guthrie09/11/06
I'm glad I found this through your hinting. It is a fun read with real-life applications. I totally enjoyed it.
Crista Darr09/12/06
ROFL and still get an inspiring devotional. Great work, Jo. I love it.
valerie chambers09/12/06
This was sooooo funny---I bet you are a hoot to hang out with.It drew me in and made me want to keep reading which is every writer's goal. I also liked the comparison of the spiritual with the physical----so very well done> I give you a double A plus
Alexandra Wilkin09/13/06
By the time I got to your painful wedgie I was hooked with a happy smile on my face. A pleasure and a treat. God bless. xx
Pat Guy 09/13/06
THIS is a keeper. It's perfect in everyway - besides being awesome. An absolute treat to the soul. Wow!
Brenda Craig09/13/06
This is a hoot, a delight, and a wonderful lesson woven all into one. I agree with others. WOW! I was thrown into the water of life yesterday and got a mouth full of something not to wonderful. This helped me. Thanks!!!
Rita Garcia09/13/06
Oh, this is sooo funny! And the inspirational ribbon woven so beautiful in the midst of the laughter. Wonderful and creative writing! A true blessing!
Cheryl Harrison09/13/06
Loved it. Reminded me of the one (and only one) time I tried to water ski :o).
Lynda Lee Schab 09/13/06
Wedgies, eh? That sounds like something I might write about someday (thanks for the idea). LOL humor, as always, Jo. You definitely have an amazing and quirky way of looking at things (I love it!). I love your ability to entertain and deliver a powerful message simultaneously. Loved it!
Suzanne R09/14/06
What can I say that hasn't been said? Excellent, as always. I love your humour, the stuff you think to notice (like what is in the water?!), and the lesson is really well brought home. Great.
Debbie OConnor09/14/06
Hooray, Jo! This is a wonderfully funny, real message delivered with punch. Congrats on your win. Love it!
Rita Garcia09/14/06
CONGRATULATIONS! This is one of my favorites for river!
Jan Ross09/14/06
Congratulations on your "Second Place" win!

God bless you as you continue to offer your gifts and talents to the Lord in such a wonderful way! Very, very well done!
william price09/15/06
Congratulations Joanne!!!!
This I like. I love that I get to keep learning here at FWs from great writers like you. You sure know how to do it right. God bless.