After working out on one of the cardio machines, I decided to run upstairs to the walking/running track and get a couple of miles in there. It’s always been a secret dream of mine to one day run in a 5K or a race of some kind just to say I did it (and to prove to myself I could) so I thought, there’s no better time like the present to get started.
I topped off my water bottle at the water fountain downstairs before heading up and as I stepped through the door of the track, I debated about whether carrying my bottle or setting it by the door somewhere. I noticed some ladies had their water bottles on one side by the door so I put my water bottle on the other side of the door. It should be fine and out of anyone’s way.
I took off walking/jogging and as I made my way on the last half of the first lap, that’s when I saw him. This guy had stopped running and had bent down, picked up my water bottle, and WAS DRINKING OUT OF IT!
Just before I could reach him on the turn, he had replaced the cap, put the bottle down and took off running again. As I walked/jogged behind him, I thought “I should say something.” But what would I say? “Hey, dude, you drank my water!” It’s not like I wanted it back at that point. Then I thought, maybe he was just really thirsty. Then sympathy turned to irritation – but what if he’s just one of those obnoxious guys who doesn’t really care if he drinks out of someone else’s water bottle? Then irritation turned to concern. “What if he’s in a sweat-induced dilirium and actually thinks it was his water bottle and can’t remember that he didn’t have a water bottle in his hands when he got here? Or what if this is a completely wierd coincidence and he did bring a plastic non-descript water bottle just like mine and someone took HIS before he realized it was missing and I just happened to put mine in the exact spot so he couldn’t help but think it was his bottle?”
(This kind of rambly thinking is what happens when all of the blood in your body is circulating a lot faster than you’re used to.)
As I went around the track for the fourth time, I thought, “but this water was mine. I brought it.” It made me think about the flowers in our front yard that we lost last week. I definitely do not have a green thumb, but there are some beautiful yellow lillies that have come back the last couple of years and with the rain we’ve had recently, they had bloomed out big and full. They were so pretty in fact that someone decided to cut them all off their stems and take them. “But those were MY flowers” I had thought, and I had been angry when I realized they were gone.
As I kept walking, I thought about this. I know flowers can grow back. I know water, thankfully, is still in good supply. But how often do I also hold Jesus as “mine” and I’m not willing to share Him with anyone? It’s MY faith, MY heaven, MY happiness. And yet, His love and His grace is supposed to be for the whole world, not just for me. He is meant to be shared.
I have been convicted of late that I am not doing enough to share or talk about why we call ourselves “Wives of Faith.” That I need to do more to remind women that their hope isn’t just connecting with other military wives – it’s also in connecting with God and the true hope that only He can give.
As I rounded my seventh lap (half a mile!), I noticed that the man who had taken my water was leaving. I glanced at the spot on the floor where my water bottle was. It was gone! He had taken it!
I laughed to myself and said, you know what, that is ok. There’s a lot more than just a water bottle that I need to be giving away.
This week, my challenge to myself and to you is to look for an opportunity to show God’s love to someone. It might be a kind word to someone at work, a card in the mail, a nice tip for a waiter.
Here’s the song that came on my iPod as I realized I’d just “given” my water away. Enjoy it and may it give you a good start to your week!