Manual sinks and spiritual growth
I was at a church recently for a conference, and when I stepped up to the bathroom sink, I put my hands under the faucet, expecting water to come out.
This thing doesn’t work!
Then I realized that it was a manual sink. You know, the kind you have to turn on yourself. This sink actually had two knobs, one hot and the other cold. It was an odd experience to have to use both knobs to mix the temperatures just right. I was so used to being given the perfect temperature of water.
Honestly, when I put my hand to the wet knob, it grossed me out. No wonder they have automatic taps now. Automatic soap dispensers. Automatic paper towel dispensers. It’s so clean to have those given to you without you touching anything.
What immediately struck me was that this mentality is so easy to get into when we’re seeking spiritual growth. Every week, your pastor comes up and delivers you auto-dispensed water, soap, and towels without you having to touch anything yourself. All you have to do is put your hands out and receive. The same with books, blog posts, and fat Study Bibles. All the work of others, cleanly handed off to you. But we love it, don’t we? We love getting spoon fed with the insights of others. But eventually, we get so used to the process that we become lazy.
It’s time to get our hands dirty and do the work. To put our hands on the tap. To ask our own questions of the text. Build up a reference library. Study and sit with the text. Sit till you’re impatient, and then sit some more.
Stop letting insights only come to you through blog posts and preaching. Those are not even your insights. They’re the insights of others. Instead of reading a book about the life of David, compile your own notes and write your own book, so to speak. Nothing will be more satisfying. For example, when you catch your own salmon, filet it, and then cook it on the grill, it tastes infinitely different than buying a filet of salmon at Vons. When you write your own song, it sticks closer with you than anything you hear from another artist.
It’s like cooking at home versus going out to eat. Sure, you can pay $50 for a great meal out, but when you attempt to make it yourself, even with all its imperfections, it’s still incredibly more satisfying than relying on the professionals to make your dinner for you.