I pastored a rural church that was on a well system, feeding both the house and the church. The well was a ground water well, fed only from the water table. Between the well and the house was a rather steep hill. At the base of the hill was a pump house, with a piston pump that brought the water from the well and pushed it up the hill. The pump house consisted of concrete blocks, with a small door. The only position possible was a crouching position, since both door and ceiling were rather low. The inhabitants of that block house were spiders, rather large spiders but relatively harmless (unless you dislike spiders as I do). When the ground water became low, seepage into the well was reduced and the pump began to suck air and lose its prime. This was rather annoying, since it fed both house and church (toilets, coffee, showers, etc).
Life can be somewhat like that well. We can lose the prime on our lives and continue to go through the motions of life, yet finding that we are only sucking air. Dreams become stale; routines predictable and our lives can go through the motions, without much passion or feeling. One psychologist has said that people seldom fully burn out. They tend to be like candles that burn down until there is only a flicker. There is still a glimmer of light but it has grown faint, for whatever the reason.
So what do we do and how can we move forward?
With the well we had two options available to us. The first option was that whenever the pump lost its prime, it was necessary to add outside water to the pump. I would remove the plug and pour water into the hole, until it caught suction and drew water once more. Having outside resources in our lives, whether people or books or ideas, can provide the needed impetus to press forward. We all have those moments when we need something external to us to move us along in the process. But if we only rely on those motivating factors that are external to us, what happens when they are not present to apply the necessary pressure? Are we internally motivated to press forward, even if the externals are not there?
So what do we do? How can we be internally motivated?
The other option for the well system was to dig the well deeper by cleaning out the debris. I went down the shaft, 15 feet deep. Since there was little space, the ladder was removed and I was left looking at a pinhole of light above me. I placed the debris into a bucket, that others removed by rope.There are those times when we must remove the clutter from our lives, those things which hinder our growth and dig deeper so that the creative energy might flow once more. Debris can be simply things that no longer move us towards our desired goals.
What goals and dreams have you set for yourself? Are you feeling motivated or stuck? Find someone or something external to yourself to help. Great ideas and positive people can help you get going again. In those times when you feel like giving up or giving in, go deeper. Remove that which is irrelevant to your dreams and goals. Press in, press on. You will achieve if you faint not.