Isn’t it strange that things which are not growing seem to be dying? I remember hiking in the superstition mountains with a mentor. I was in high school and a group of kids went along. We ran out of water, no small problem in Arizona. We came across a stream which was cold and looked delicious but before we could drink my mentor stopped up. “Don’t drink that unless you want to spend the last days of your life on a toilet.” While we all pondered the meaning of his threat he began to explain about a small bacterium call Giardia. Wild animals are not conscious of waterways when they use the restroom; as a result stagnant waters are often havens for things that would wreck havoc on your bowels and generally ruin your weak.
A stagnant life is one which may appear restful, like the image above. There is a certain beauty to a life uncomplicated by the forces of challenge, change or growth. People on the outside may envy it and those within may relish the experience. Yet there is a difference between being at rest and being stationary. Inertia is a difficult force to overcome and the people I respect in life are those who actively pursue an ever-increasing discipline and depth in their lives. It is certainly more convenient to remain the same person you were years ago, with the same prejudices and ideas. Change is often hard, there are always growing pains but surely it is more painful to lead an unexamined life which produced relatively little fruit. I have been reading in the Gospel of John lately and there is a woman in the fourth chapter who comes to a place of stagnancy and instead encounters Jesus. He offers her living water, the sort that is always on the move, never stale. She finds herself transformed by the experience, challenged to grow out of who she was and into who she has the potential to be. The business I’m in aims to help people come in contact with life itself, to overcome their inertia and move on to deeper waters.