Like buildings, even the artifacts around us shape us. We hear and read about how are brains are being changed by the internet and the technological devices all around us. The internet and smart phones are easy targets to express how we are affected by these cultural artifacts, but there is one little cultural artifact that has changed us perhaps more than we aware.
The water bottle.
The water bottle gives us the impression that water is easy to come by. Walk into any gas station and there are cases of bottled water. I can buy a gross of bottles at a membership store and I can even buy water bottles in vending machines. With all this water everywhere, it is amazing that upwards of 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated (cue the irony music).
The impact of the water bottle mentality has leaked into other aspects of our culture. We live in a time where there is little patience for the things that take time. Heck, we even have shorter attention spans than a goldfish.
Over time we become accustom to get things quickly and those things that take time are dismissed for quicker solutions. There are water bottles all around us and we are always on the look out for the next water bottle device to come along.
The Church is in the well digging business. The Church is charged to teach the ways of contemplation and meditation and prayer and patience and discipline and reflection and silence and solitude. These disciplines take time to develop and even take time to practice, which may be whey many of us are not interested in them. My concern is not so much that we may not be interested in them, but that we do not see the value of taking time to dig wells when there are so many water bottles around.
For all the Church is, it is a well digging movement and institution. We dig for the Living Water of Life. The Water that quenches thirst and we never grow thirsty again. We know this is difficult labor and hard work, and we are not sure if the well we dig will reach the Water. We only trust that we are getting closer by digging deeper.
Too often I feel like I am six feet under digging for water while my people stand on the surface drinking from bottled water wondering what the heck I am doing digging a well. I want to be a Church that picks up a shovel and digs.