Last summer I went through the painful process of installing a sprinkler system at my house. Now, we’ve lived in said house for several years, so I was so excited to finally put away the hoses …
Last summer I went through the painful process of installing a sprinkler system at my house. Now, we’ve lived in said house for several years, so I was so excited to finally put away the hoses and be able to just flip a switch and watch my beautiful lawn prosper.
As I write this, I can actually hear those of you who have gone through this process giggling a little, or maybe a lot as you think to yourself, “Rookie.” And as I have had the system running for a while now, I understand the laughter and jeering at my naivety. You see, it just isn’t that simple to get a new system up and going.
One of the struggles I encountered was silt or sand in my system, as our sprinklers are run off a well. Wells have the benefit of cost savings, but they also add the dimension of sediment in the water.
Sprinklers don’t like sand. In fact, it makes them spray in less than a uniform pattern and will even cause them to not pop up because of the grit inside the sprinkler. (It’s a good thing I’m not a landscaping salesperson; I might have just talked several people out of installing this watering wonder.)
However, there was a simple fix to this problem: a filter. I installed a filter on our pump that takes the grit out of the water going to the sprinklers. All of that unnecessary and unwanted dirt was being reduced to the point of not interfering with our watering.
This all got me thinking of all the information we deal with in any given day. We watch the news, listen to podcasts, peruse social media and in every encounter, we wade through the grit of information overload. It sometimes even gets us to the point of not knowing how to respond to it all. It can derail us and occupy our brains with enough grit for us to stop thinking properly.
Just like that pump, we need a filter. We need a way to block what isn’t useful and stay focused on what is good. Hebrews 12:1-2 tells us to throw off everything that hinders us and the sin that so easily entangles us and run our race with endurance. It goes on to tell us how. It tells us to fix our eyes on Jesus who is the pioneer and perfector of our faith.
I believe the filters we need are twofold.
First, we must guard against those things that tend to plug us up with dirt. Proverbs 4:23 tells us, “Above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life.” We need to be careful what we’re letting in our thoughts.
Secondly, we must fill ourselves with the lifegiving water of the word of God. We need to spend time each day looking intently into his word and talking with the one who designed us and knows us. He provides all the nutrients we need to grow in our faith.
Yes, we have a designer. We have a sustainer who chooses to love us and guide us. He is ready to repair what is not working with what does. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us he gives us all we need to succeed: “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
Once that filter was installed, we have a beautiful front yard — and once we use the filters of guarding our heart from what the world is telling us and fill it with what God teaches us, we too can be what we were designed to be: his beloved and useful people.
(Jon Allen is the associate pastor at Grace Point.)