The longer I walk on earth, the more that I begin to understand that almost everything has a source. Everything starts someplace or at some point in time. Finding the source of things fascinates some of us. Humankind has entered into quests, exploration, and adventures to find the source of their fascination. It’s in our nature to question and discover the source of things.
Take the Mississippi River in the USA, to some it’s the grandest river in the country. We’ve given the river nicknames: “The Mighty Mississippi,” and there’s “Ol’ Man River,” or how about “The Big Muddy.” Since we criss cross the country in our rig weekly, we often cross over “The Muddy Mississippi” river. It is one of the symbols of the USA that Mark Twain immortalized in his literature. This river, that is often very muddy looking, is a source of life and commerce in the USA, and this river has a source. Back in 1830 a man named Henry Schoolcraft became interested in locating the source of “The Mighty Mississippi,” which by the way was already known by the Native Americans long before Schoolcraft’s quest. It was with the help of an Ojibwa leader by the name of Ozawindib, who guided Schoolcraft, that the source of this great symbol of the USA was traced to Lake Itasca, a small lake, in Minnesota. From that small lake, less than two square miles in area, comes “Ol’ Man River.” And this grand of all grand rivers spans all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. That grandest of rivers in the USA comes from a humble beginning, some might have even thought when looking at Lake Itasca, that this little lake is quite insignificant. And, they would be wrong.
We know that light and water are significantly important for life on earth. Most of us know that without light and water the earth would be another cold lifeless planet. We need both to survive. Light for us has a source – the Sun. Water has a source – lakes and rivers are replenished in some part by precipitation in the form of rain and snow melt. Light and water, two things that we often take for granted. We become complacent, water is always there isn’t it? Or is it? Our complacency often sticks around until circumstances dictate that we must pay attention. Take times of drought, they sure get our attention. No rain, no crops. No crops, no food. That’s worthy of our attention isn’t it?
Things that are important to our life should have our attention and stay top of mind, yet they don’t. We get tired, we get bored, we become uninterested, we need stimulation, or we need to turn off the stimulation and do something rather mindless. We turn our attention away from those things importance to indulge our fancies. The internet, social media, Netflix, Hulu and the like occupy our time. Game of Thrones (or insert the name of another popular entertainment series) becomes our obsession – we binge watch it, we talk about it, we discuss the plot, characters and analyze the motivations of the characters. Slowly we’ve moved from the important things and become engrossed with those things that in the whole scheme of things are rather trivial. We’ve become complacent.
I believe that we all are guilty of complacency, we’ve taken our eyes off of those things that really matter. The key verse in my reading today of Malachi “The Lord of Heaven’s Armies says to the priests: “A son honors his father, and a servant respects his master. If I am your father and master, where are the honor and respect I deserve? You have shown contempt for my name!” (Malachi 1:6, NLT) Pretty strong words from the Lord isn’t it? Now instead of reading that verse with the word “priest,” if I insert my name, then it becomes a stinging accusation to me. Have I been guilty of giving honor and respect to other areas of my life while at the same time withholding them from God? If so, I too have become complacent.
Remember that discussion above about the source of things? Where do all things stem from? Where does all creation come from? It all had a start, it all has a source. And that source is God. God created all. He created the Heavens, the Earth. He created Light. He created water. He created all living things. God is our ultimate lifeblood. God is our source. And, this morning the words of Malachi, a “minor” prophet from thousands of years ago, reminded me that complacency often sneaks into my life, and robs me of the true joy in honoring and worshipping the source of my life. My Lord and Savior.
Lord, I thank you that those words penned by your servant Malachi can reach off of the pages of Your Word and take root in my heart. Thank you for being my life, my source. Thank you for the gift of salvation that I received through the sacrifice of your Son, Jesus. May I live each day honoring You. Amen
“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12, ESV)
Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:13-14, ESV)