By: Pastor Jarren Rogers
It had become a family tradition.
Any time we pulled into a McDonald’s outside of normal meal hours we knew what it was for. My dad would drive the family van up to the speaker, “You guys want anything to drink?” he would say looking back to my brother, sister, and me.
After pulling away from the fast food restaurant, we’d all be sipping on our cool, new beverages. Just something to drink, nothing else. With any long road trip, a McDonald’s soda was a necessity.
Also, it was an unspoken rule that any time we got a drink while dining in at a restaurant or a fast food joint you always always, always refill it before you leave. That way you have a full drink that will last you all day!
“What are you doing!?” I asked her.
“What? I’m throwing away my trash. What are you doing?”
My wife and I were at Taco Bell. We’d had a pleasant meal. The air was filled with the smell of burritos and cinnamon twisties.
“I’m filling up my drink. Don’t you want a refill too? Why’d you throw away your cup!?” I asked.
“I’m finished with it.”
I looked at her confused, “You paid for that drink. So why not get a refill just before you leave. It will last you the whole rest of the car ride.”
“I’m not really that thirsty.”
I held up my finger, “Not yet! But what about in an hour? Won’t you be glad that you filled up your drink then?”
She didn’t look convinced. “There’s really no point. I don’t want to be carrying it around.”
I shook my head at her and replaced the lid on my perfectly filled cup.
To this day Annie refuses to fill up her cup when we leave the restaurant. I don’t know if it’s because she knows it bothers me or because she doesn’t want the drink. Maybe it’s because she simply isn’t thirsty.
“Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them” (John 7:37).
I love ministering to thirsty people. People who crave being in God’s presence. Who soak in the Word any time it’s read. Who are at church anytime the doors are open.
I think one of the reasons the church today is dwindling is because we have forgotten what it was like to thirst.
Our burdens, our yearnings, our sin–all dry our mouths and fill our throats with sand. We try to quench that thirst with so many other things–earthly pleasures, addictions, material possessions–but while they may help for a little while, they never quench our longings.
Instead, we must discard anything that we place in the hole in our hearts, and instead turn to Christ, the living water, to quench our thirsty souls.