Something in the water

blogIMG_9118Must be something in the water.

I’ve heard that idiom so many times and I believe it is probably something we Americans say that causes other nationalities to scratch their heads and say, “Whatever do they mean?”

When we utter that remark, we don’t mean it literally but generally we use that phrase when something strange or unusual happened and the only explanation you can come up with is that there’s something in the water everyone is drinking to make that occur.

For example, when several women you know are expecting a baby, you might say, “Must be something in the water” to explain such a prevalence of pregnancy.

It’s just a silly way of offering up a reason.

So I don’t know if there actually IS something in the water, but for me, there’s something ABOUT the water. There’s something that draws me to it. There’s something about sitting oceanside, lakeside, riverside, or beside a creek or waterfall that just creates a restful, peaceful feeling in me.

Part of it may come from my faith in Jesus Christ because in my faith, water is a very powerful symbol and is used often in God’s Holy Word. The Psalms speak of thirsting for God, the “spring of living water.”  Jesus himself offered us living water in the form of His grace, the gift of salvation.

So water always seems to call to me to come near.

On Papa’s and my recent excursion, our travels took us to several of the Great Lakes. Prior to this trip, we had often been to Lake Erie here in our home state of Pennsylvania, but had never driven along it in our next-door neighboring state, Ohio.

Since we were on our way to Michigan and our route first took us to Toledo, Ohio, we opted to take the blue highway along Lake Erie instead of the interstate.

As always, taking the less traveled route provided different perspectives and was the more scenic. We passed through several lake towns and stopped a couple of times when lighthouses were in view.  

Lighthouses are one of our favorite landmarks to spot, and I love taking photographs of them. (I’m still hoping to do a photography series here in my blog of just the photos of all the lighthouses I’ve captured in pictures.)

We took a little detour off our route to visit one of the lighthouses along Lake Erie but were disappointed to find the structure was undergoing some renovation so it was covered. But we enjoyed a little walk around the area, stretching our legs, and basking in a lovely fall day.

And as usual, the water called to me. We walked along the lake there, stepping carefully amid the rocks, and my camera just kept clicking.

As gentle waves lapped ashore on the rocks, I thought about the ripples in moving water. Even in a still body of water we can create ripples when we skip stones across the surface. We produce a change when we do so.

That causes me to consider the ripples I may make with my words and deeds, which probably cannot make a major change in the way this world works. But I can influence the ‘world’ around me, here in my own little corner of it, by the things I say and do.

Contemplating that as I view my photos of Lake Erie makes me realize ripples, even my little ones, do go out further and further than I realize. May my ripples always be encouraging to others and pleasing to my Lord.

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” ~ Mother Teresa


Something in the water

blogimg_1434Back in the summer when I was hibernating, I missed the opportunity to participate in a Developing Your Eye photography activity on Word Press.

Summer zapped me big time and I just didn’t have the energy nor the inclination to join up. But cooler fall weather finally awakened me from my slump, although occasionally I am still as grumpy as a bear staggering squint-eyed from its lair.

So today’s post is focused on that challenge’s third day photography theme – water.

Water, what would we do without it?  Scientists say the surface of this planet revolving around the sun 365 days of the year is 71% water.  In comparison, adult humans’ bodies are comprised of around 60% water. Water sustains life, we’re told, because every living cell must have it to continue functioning.

Without water, we die. It’s as simple as that. Our bodies can only survive three to five days without it, although in some cases, people have lasted a week. Regardless, we need water. It’s a must.  I drink a lot of it every single day and it is my preferred drink with meals.

But we don’t just physically require water for life, I believe.

Even though I am not much of a country music fan, the words to Carrie Underwood’s song, “There’s Something in the Water” came to my mind as I began thinking about this theme and perused my photograph cache – both digital and film pictures from years ago. That song embraces a spiritual aspect of water.

There must be something in the water (amazing grace)
Oh, there must be something in the water (how sweet the sound)
Oh, there must be something in the water (that saved a wretch)
Oh, there must be something in the water (like me)

For me, there obviously is more to it than just something ‘in’ the water. There’s something ‘about’ the water as well.

You see, I seem to take an abundance of photos of water. Streams. Rivers. Lakes. Waterfalls. Oceans. Rain. Water drops. Even puddles.  For some reason, I’m drawn to water – not to be in it, no, I’m not an avid swimmer, no water dog. Nor am I partial to being on the water either. Ask Papa about how many times he has suggested us going on an ocean cruise.

But I do like to be near water. To sit beside it. To listen to it. To gaze at it. To see beauty in it. And to attempt to capture all of that in a photo.

I turned to my Guidebook for Life – my Bible – and I wasn’t too surprised that water is mentioned over 600 times in the version I read the most – the New International Version – from Genesis, the very first book, to Revelation, the very last.

Water. It’s not just vital for our human physical life. It’s vital for spiritual life as well which is why you will find so many references to water in the Scriptures. It’s used to symbolize a variety of concepts in God’s Word and you could spend a lot of time just studying this one word.

I tend to think of spiritual water as a refreshing, cleansing element just like that Carrie Underwood song.  That’s why a passage in Chapter Four in the book of John in the New Testament speaks to me.

Jesus asks for water from a Samaritan woman at the well. He tells her about living water when he says, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” He’s talking about the gift of salvation that comes through belief in Him.

My sweet little granddaughter likes to drink water. Inevitably, she swallows, smiles, and then says, “Ahhhh.”  She’s already learned that water satisfies our thirst like nothing else.

And that’s like Jesus. He is the kind of living water that satisfies all thirst. Each time I gaze upon the water, hear either its roar in the ocean wave or its delicate tinkle in the flow of a stream or its constant pitter patter of rain on my roof, or taste the cool, refreshing sip of clear, clean water, I think of Him and what He accomplished on the cross for me and you.

And I am refreshed.

 “Did you ever feel the tongue dry, the lips parched, and the throat feverish, and then, bringing a goblet filled with pure water to your lips, do you remember the sensation as it trickled over your tongue and gurgled down your throat? Was it not a luxury?… Here is a beverage brewed for us by our Heavenly Father—brewed, too, in beautiful places…. He brews pure water, far away on the mountain top, whose granite peak glitters like gold in the sunlight; away again, on the wide wild sea, where the hurricane howls its mournful melody, and the storm sends back the chorus, sweeping the march of God!” ~John Bartholomew Gough, English-born U.S. temperance orator (1817–1886)