Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Filling Your Well
Today my baby sister is celebrating her 23rd birthday in Jerusalem. She has the opportunity to study religion, history and language in Israel, Jordan and Turkey for the next four months. What a lucky girl.
I had the same opportunity in the summer of 2000. It was L I F E C H A N G I N G, to say the least. I have been blessed to have many enriching experiences in my life. But my semester abroad at BYU-Jerusalem ranks as one of the top.
During that time, I was able to explore nearly every crook and cranny of the Old City on foot, study the Words of God at sunrise on my balcony overlooking the Dome of the Rock, celebrate the oncoming Sabbath at dusk near the Western Wall, witness the craft of shabbat bread making by devoted Jewish women, pray silently on a quiet morning at the Garden Tomb, climb Mt. Sinai by moonlight to watch the sun rise atop an ancient monastery ruin, sing "Silent Night" on a hillside in Bethlehem with sheep grazing 'round about, experience my own spiritual awakening on the shores of Galilee and view one of the greatest wonders of the world - Petra - while trekking through the rock formations of Jordan. It was a summer for the record books. And now my sister is living it.
In a birthday email sent yesterday, I advised Sharla to use this time to fill her well. Not often in life do you have the luxurious experience of basking in the Light, Knowledge of Glory of Learning without the realities of the day-to-day. It is indeed a rare pleasure. But this is Sharla's time. This is HER opportunity to experience this decadent delight. What a blessed girl.
So I pray she will drink in every moment with the realization that she is filling her well. Every experience, breath and feeling she is having will prepare her for a time where it is not all about her. When her needs, wants and desires fall toward the bottom of the to do list. During that time, she can look back on those days, weeks and months where she created a reserve and she can live off those Living Waters. She can remember those feelings. And - in an instant - she can return to that sacred place in her heart and share those feelings with Little Ones of her own. What a gift that is.
And so, drink it in. Drink it in, Baby Sister. And when you think of me, take an extra bite of shwarma, breath in the ancient smells of the Old City and remember that you are living it for both of us. And generations to come will be blessed by this experience because you filled your well.
Drink it in. Drink it in.