Always put God first, never mind how busy you are

A woman of Samaria came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” His disciples had gone into the town to buy food. The Samaritan woman said to him, “How can you, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman for a drink?” For Jews use nothing in common with Samaritans. Jesus answered her and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God and who is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” The woman said to him, “Sir, you do not even have a bucket and the cistern is deep; where then can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob who gave us this cistern and drank from it himself with his children and his flocks?” Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again; but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.” (Jn 4:7-15)

We are incredibly blessed to live where we do. Even if we don’t love to shovel snow, we can’t help but love the beauty of this land that lies alongside the largest body of fresh water in the world. This is not the land where Jesus encountered the Samaritan woman at the well; that was a land of deserts. The very idea of something like Lake Superior would have probably seemed to be a fantastic fable. Water sources like Jacob’s well were precious and few.

Imagine for a moment what part water played in your life if you were that woman. Making sure you had enough water, procuring the water, carrying the water from the source back to your home, day after day after day. Water was probably always on your mind if you lived in that place and time.

So here’s a guy who says he’s got “living water,” water that will not only keep you from even being thirsty again, but will give eternal life. Too good to be true, right? But as the reading goes on, Jesus reveals himself as the Messiah. And so “The woman left her water jar and went into the town and said to the people. ‘Come see a man who has told me everything I have done. Could he possibly be the Christ?'” Did you catch that little detail in the beginning of the verse? She left her water jar! What had started out as the most important focus in her life is pushed aside by the experience of encountering the Son of God. Her world is changed.

We are able to walk over to a faucet and watch as clean, fresh water pours out. That’s something that would have been an unheard of luxury in Jesus’ time, and remains one for millions of people in our world today. We don’t have to spend our days consumed with the need for water. However, we can too easily find our days caught up in pursuing other things. Maybe it’s our career, maybe it’s family commitments, maybe it’s trying to make our surroundings “just perfect.” Lent is a good time to reflect on where spending time with God sits on our list of priorities. If it’s not on top, then it’s time to leave the water jar behind for a while.

God bless.

Editor’s note: Ellen Sargent is a long-time resident of the Marquette area and member of the Catholic Church. She is married to Mining Journal Managing Editor Bud Sargent.

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