There is a story I like—

A man was lost in the desert and dying for a drink of water. He stumbled upon an old shack—a windowless, roofless,
weather-beaten old shack. He looked about this place and found a little shade from the heat of the desert sun. As he glanced across the room, he saw a pump about 15 feet away with an old, rusty water pump. He stumbled over to it, grabbed the handle, and began to pump up and down, but nothing came out.

Disappointed, he staggered back. Then he noticed, off to the side, an old jug. He looked at it, wiped away the dirt and dust, and read a message that said, “You have to prime the pump with all the water in the jug, my friend. P.S. Be sure you fill the jug again before you leave.”

He popped the cork out of the jug and sure enough, it was almost full of water. Suddenly, he was faced with a decision. If he drank the water, he could live. But if he poured all the water in the old rusty pump, maybe it would yield fresh, cool water from down deep in the well, all the water he wanted.

He studied the possibility of both options. What should he do, pour it into the old pump and take a chance of fresh, cool water or drink what was in the old jug and ignore its message? Should he waste all the water on the hopes of those flimsy instructions written, not telling how long ago?

Reluctantly, he poured all the water into the pump. Then he grabbed the handle and began to pump, squeak, squeak, squeak. Still nothing came out! Squeak, squeak, squeak. A little bit of drip and then a small stream, and finally it gushed! To his relief fresh, cool water poured out of the rusty pump. Eagerly, he filled the jug and drank from it. He filled it another time and once again drank its refreshing contents. Then he filled the jug for the next traveler. He filled it to the top, popped the cork back on, and added this little note: “Believe me, it really works. You have to give it away before you can get anything back.”

Such is the joy of a life of sacrifice! The Christian Life is all about living, loving and giving! This is what brings meaning and makes life fulfilling. May we learn to be generous in all that we do as long as we have breath! Lord, help us to realize, as the recipients of your grace, what it is to give of ourselves generously and live out our days purposefully. May this be our joy!

Devotedly yours,

Pastor Ron

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