I procrastinate a lot. I like to say it’s one of my spiritual gifts. Not sure that God would agree with that, but…He uses it anyway.
I was supposed to be filing my income taxes tonight, even though it’s still a LONG way (hey, it’s more than the week/day/hour before!) until April 15th. Instead, I decided to clean out the cat’s water bowl…I tend to choose some FUN stuff to distract myself from the tasks on my “to do” list. And this isn’t just any old water bowl…it’s one of those continuous-flow, electric-powered “waterfall” bowls that deceive my cat into thinking she’s drinking out of the faucet (if you can’t break a habit, you sometimes have to find a way around it that makes everyone/everycat happy).
Cleaning the water bowl is a job I loathe and that alone should tell you the length, depth and breadth of my little procrastination “issue”, if I’m performing the dreaded task in order to avoid doing my taxes! I think the long-ago trashed instruction booklet told me to clean it at least weekly. Umm…yeah. Can’t say that I really adhere to that schedule very well. But…it’s running water. It looks and sounds like a bubbling brook…and it makes me feel like fresh water is continuously pouring out of some underground stream into the waiting bowl, even though I’m well aware of the fact that the only pouring that takes place is what I pour into it from the faucet every night.
And so, I mostly ignore the little babbling brook fountain sitting in my bathroom floor…until I realize it’s not so “babbling” anymore and is, in fact, quite sluggish and kind of icky and not so clean. The water runs nowhere but out the spigot into the bowl, back through the filter and up the tube into the spigot again…where in the process does it get so icky?
Let’s see…my cat sticks her tongue under the kitty-sized waterfall numerous times every day. Yuck. Sometimes she sticks her paws in and plays in the water. Mmm. She sheds as naturally as she breathes (and at least as often)…into every nook and cranny of my home, so I’ll bet there might be a “few” strands of cat fur in there somewhere. I spray hairspray that gunks up the floor on which the bowl sets…stands to reason some might fall into the bowl itself.
And the fountain of flowing water becomes stagnant and nasty and something even the cat knows she shouldn’t be drinking.
I have a fountain flowing in me, too…a fountain of not just water, but LIVING water. That’s what Jesus calls it. And, just like my cat’s fountain, I know mine gets clogged up and bogged down with some nasty, gunky stuff sometimes.
I stick my “paws” into places they don’t belong at times. I may not stick my tongue into anything, but I do spend some time with my proverbial foot in my mouth. I “spray” negative words and attitudes all over the place on occasion…it stands to reason some might occasionally blow back on me. A lot of things “gunk up” my life and I find myself suddenly sluggish…gazing blankly at a computer screen when I should be writing, playing a video game when I should be practicing community, Facebooking when I should be out helping others, and not continuing the process of simplifying my life when it’s clear that’s what God wants from me right now.
It doesn’t take long for that fountain in me to become stagnant and nasty and something that no one would want to be drinking. It might still be living water, but it’s not doing much good if it’s not being poured out…if I’m not being that conduit that God calls me to be. Living water isn’t very “living” if it’s not moving, nor is it very refreshing to anyone if it’s not fresh. So…I get tired of being a big old bowl of stagnant, stinky water and ask God to stir up those waters again, filter out the gunk and help me keep my paws and my foot and my tongue in their rightful places.
I don’t suppose God has income taxes to file, but I’m sure He has something better to do than clean my fountain…again. <Insert patient, slightly-bemused-because-He-knows-me-well, God-sized “sigh” here.> Maybe I’ll give him some breathing space and a little extra time to do it this next go-round. Let’s hope so, anyway.