One of my professors wrote a note on the electronic blackboard this week, saying “By now you may think you are “drinking from a fire hydrant,” referring of course to the volume of reading assigned to us. The “drinking from a fire hydrant” word picture brought to mind my experience in India (so many years ago). Every day the police would uncap a fire hydrant (I never knew why) and immediately hundreds of men, women and children would come running to get a wet, cool break from the sticky 100 degree weather—both drinking and bathing. And, for the homeless, their only bath of the day.
I think our modern American churches foster this “drinking from a fire hydrant” way of thinking, herding the ‘sheep’ into auditoriums where all drink from the same stream. You may recall from an earlier post “Don’t Drink the Water”, January 28, I mentioned that sheep won’t drink from running, but only still water. I wonder if that analogy can be carried over here—that we “sheep” cannot retain much of the water we drink from the hydrant on a Sunday morning service!
I am certainly not condemning the practice of public teaching and worship, but as I sit in our Sunday morning congregational service, I can’t help but wonder how many of the sheep sitting around me on any given Sunday have spent time alone with God, sitting and sipping and taking in their fill of His Word? Or, how many ‘bathed’ from their private well before coming to church?