Before venturing halfway around the world, I’ve never gone without running water. On a day-to-day basis I just don’t think about water because I have the privilege to assume all the water I drink is clean and never lift a finger to collect water. In the United States, our water is not only easily accessible and clean- it also protects our teeth through water fluoridation. During the first couple days I spent in Uganda, my thoughts on water changed and considerably increased.
Waking up in Uganda, I’d stretch and wearily navigate an exit rout from underneath the mosquito net covering my bed. As I drudged over to my suitcase I grabbed my towel and headed off to take a shower. I knew that the water we used came from a well about 1.5 miles from where we were staying, so I don’t have good reason to explain my surprise of what taking a shower entailed. Opening the wooden gate-like door to the outdoor shower, I peered in to find two jugs of water (one hot and one cold) and a plastic bowl. The shower procedure, I soon learned, was to pour various amounts of the hot and could water into this bowl and dump the water on your self. I never appreciated modern technology that makes running water possible so much until my own hands had to take its place.
After I finished my shower, I set off to complete my next task of brushing my teeth. In addition to water being difficult to access, the water we were able to collect was not clean. I had the luxury of bottled water though, and so I brushed my teeth using that. Using bottled water made me aware of just how much water I can live off of, which surprised me even more than the shower procedure.
Over the course of a half hour that first morning in Uganda, I learned more about my daily consumption of water than all the statics that have been quoted to me. Water is important and clean water is even more important. In many ways, God is like water. He brings life to everything he touches, uplifting us with his grace and love. Sometimes we don’t notice how much the Lord is working in our lives, the ways He is changing our hearts and His beautiful creations because we are caught up in the daily grind. All too often I take the Lord for granted, unaware that it is He who “refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake” (Psalm 23:3).