S (Scripture): Jeremiah 2
11 Has a nation switched gods,
though they aren’t really gods at all?
Yet my people have exchanged their glory
for what has no value.
12 Be stunned at such a thing, you heavens;
shudder and quake, declares the Lord.
13 My people have committed two crimes:
They have forsaken me, the spring of living water.
And they have dug wells, broken wells that can’t hold water.
O (Observation): God declares to Jeremiah that God’s people have turned away from God. They look elsewhere for their hope and salvation (dug wells), even though God saved them from slavery in Egypt. Unfortunately for the people, these “wells they have dug” appear to be broken alternatives of hope to replace God.
God declares that this action is worthy of making folks shake in their boots! Scary enough that the heavens should shudder and quake!
A (Application): How many alternative routes have we come up with for comfort, hope and salvation? And how many are simply broken wells?
The American Dream of building a family, a business, an independent life is one such well (or set of wells). Yet for so many, these dreams are false dreams, a lie many people strive towards. Or maybe out of ignorance or a lack of imagination, folks pursue this dream. And in the wake of the pursuit of this dream lies destruction, pain, anger. Sometimes the dream is just a well we have dug for ourselves…a broken well that holds nothing.
So much of the American Dream has turned into a sloven pursuit for self-indulgence and comfort. I’ve got mine. Sorry. You need to get your own.
I’m not advocating that we don’t take responsibility for our own lives. I simply would like compassion and humility to be factored into our pursuits. Maybe invite other along the way with us. Befriending folks, instead of dismissing them! This is the way of Jesus. Living a life not just for the self, but also for the other.
Living life in a state of thankfulness for what God has given to us is a great start. Then, let us realize that our way forward is to help others along the way. This is a great next step.
P (Prayer): God, you sustain us with your grace. Continue the work of grace in us. Amen.