Craig was excited to finally go on the vacation with his family. He, his wife Renae, and their two sons, Titus and Micah ages 6, 9 and their daughter, Kari, 11 were excited for the hiking adventure along the Grand Canyon rim. They wouldn’t be camping, thanks to Renae, but they would be hiking different trails all along the southern rim in Arizona. In preparation they walked the hilliest trails nearby in the Ozarks many times. But it was cooler weather than what would be where they were going. They knew it would be hot, but once they arrived in Arizona, in June, they realized just how intense the heat truly was. Thankfully, there was some reprieve in the shade. They knew that they would need to drink their water at regular intervals so they wouldn’t get dehydrated and were glad to know that there were a few water stations along the longer trails.
On the day of their first hike, a semi-steep 8 mile loop, they dressed in their light clothing and set off from the hotel before the sun rose. They got to the start of the trail just as the sun was peaking over the ridge. They started their hike joyfully with their water bottles full and a nice packed lunch in their backpacks. After 10 minutes of hiking, Craig reminded everyone to take a drink of water. He continued to do this at regular 10 minute intervals. His kids complied, but Renae wasn’t thirsty so she didn’t take a drink. Instead, she pulled out a piece of gum to chew. It kept her mouth moist. After the fourth reminder, she finally took a drink but didn’t take another until they reach the halfway mark where they would eat their lunch. It was a beautiful shaded spot overlooking canyon. They all were tired and ready for the rest and food. Renae guzzled her water down, refilled her bottle at the water station and promptly drank it all gone. Craig and the kids watched her with concern.
“Haven’t you been drinking your water when dad reminded us to, Mom?” Micah asked.
“I wasn’t thirsty and I had gum in my mouth.” Renae answered sheepishly. Her kids shook their heads at her answer. Kari put her hands on her hips and gave her a disappointed stare.
Craig smiled at her and said, “You know that out here if you feel thirsty it is too late. Your body will never get enough water and you may not have enough energy to make it back.”
“I am fine now,” she quickly answered, “The food is helping. I just need to sit in the shade a little longer.”
They continued eating their lunch and sat to enjoy the view for a bit longer than planned. They disposed of their trash and refilled their water bottles. Renae filled hers took a long drink and filled it to the top again. They set off on the trail again. Craig continued to remind them to take a drink. After three miles, Renae had ran out of water and was hot and tired. She needed to sit in the limited shade that part of the trail provided. Thankfully there was a water station nearby so she could refill and continue on. Finally they reached the end of the trail. The boys raced to the car. They took off their backpacks and grabbed the bag of candy they saved for that moment.
By the time they reached the hotel a little after noon, they were all tired. But after a good nap Craig and the kids were ready for the next planned activity..a waterpark. Renae was still recovering. She felt weak and couldn’t drink enough water. So going to the waterpark was out of the question. She didn’t even want to think about it. She sent them on without her. Kari made a smug comment about how her mom was just reaping the consequences of her actions. Craig hushed her and reluctantly took the kids promising to be back around dinner time. They had made reservations at a fancy revolving rooftop restaurant. Once they had left, Renae cranked up the AC and laid down for another long nap. By the time they got back, she was feeling better so they got ready and went on to the restaurant.
The next day on their hike Renae appreciated and took advantage of Craig’s consistent and constant reminders to drink water though she would rather he stop warning them by saying they didn’t want to “pull a Mom/Renae” because they knew how that turned out.
I thought this story serves as a great reminder that we need Jesus daily – all day. We need to walk and talk with Him and linger in His presence. We need to read the Word of God and gain wisdom and understanding for the road we are walking. We need the living water to keep us healthy and ready for whatever we are going through and that which is to come. If we don’t consistently and constantly go to the well and take a drink, we get dry, overheated, and sickly. We may even dehydrate if we aren’t careful. Whether we feel dry at the moment or not we need to daily drink of the water.
How does one die of dehydration spiritually? Temptations. Temptations that we would normally be able to withstand in the power of Christ, suddenly overpower us. We become weak. Spiritually sick. We start allowing things and people into our lives that don’t belong there. They are like the gum in the story. They make our lives seem pleasant and okay, but like the gum, they are only providing fake happiness and are masking the lack of Christ – our daily water.
DRINK!! Drink the water. Spend time in the Word. Talk with Christ. Daily. Set reminders if you have to.
In case you need a drink right now, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Q8dYPNV4OQ