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Monday, August 22, 2011

The Well Within

5 Knowing what is right is like deep water in the heart;
   a wise person draws from the well within. 
(Proverbs 20:5)

Knowing what is right and actually doing it are two entirely different things.  I know that it is right to drive the speed limit, but when I see all the other cars going 5-10 mph over the speed limit, it is much easier to "go with the flow" than to be dragging behind with cars swerving all around me.  When faced with a choice between what is right and what is clearly wrong, I should not be amazed at how freely we embrace the latter!  It is a common occurrence for us - it is part of our nature to choose the "wrong stuff", even when the "right stuff" is right there for the choosing.

How do we know what is right?  Too many times, we rely upon our experience to help us determine what is "right" in a circumstance.  For instance, if we have experienced the pain of a throbbing thumb after crushing it under the blow of a hammer, we can certainly associate with the fact that we now know that there is a "right" and a "wrong" way to hammer in a nail!  Don't get me wrong - there is no real substitute for human experience, but I don't need to experience "getting drunk" to see that it doesn't look all that fun!

Experience cannot be our only guide.  We can often miss stuff because we simply have not experienced it.  We each have limited experiences in some realms of life.  Some of us are single - we may not have experienced the tough days of marriage, the joys of deep companionship, or the drama of being so close to someone so totally your opposite.  But...we can learn much from the experiences of others who have walked that path!  The sharing of experience is one way we learn!

We want to have "experiences" that are right and true each and every time.  That is what Solomon is alluding to in this passage.  This type of 'consistent' experience is not just opinion or judgment - it is something that is a well-worn path in our life.  He likens it to a well, running deep, that just doesn't fail us.  The well within is only as deep as it has been "dug"!  Well-diggers usually stop when they find the flow of water.  God wants us to not stop at the development of a "trickle", but to dig a little deeper until we find the "gusher" of his supply!

The deeper the well, the more refreshing it is.  Why is that?  It is simply because what has been "stored up" in that well has been through a whole lot of "filtration" to get there!  Rains come, the water sinks deeper and deeper, through layers and layers of "filtering" soil/rock.  As it does, the "impurities" are "filtered out".  What we are left with is a pretty refreshing supply of water.  

The well has no outsource unless it is tapped.  If we just "take in" and never really "drill down" to see what is being stored up, we will never realize the awesomeness of the "well within".  Solomon wants us to learn to regularly "take in" so that we might have a "well within" that will sustain us in life's driest times.  We take much in - are we "tapping into" what we have stored within?