WORD TO THE WISE: Time, Water, and Battle of the Books


Wow!  This has been one heck of a week y’all!  I’ve had a lot of commitments and I’ve been behind on each one of them at least half of the time.  But I’ve had several things going down in my week that I really want to tell you all about.  So can I have just a few minutes of your time?  Thanks!


First of all, let me say this: I went to iTunes and put all my songs on shuffle.  Out of the over 7,200 songs that I have the first one that played…was Jimmy Buffet.  And I’m writing about time.  You see, the humor here is that when I’m listening to Buffet…I’m on a beach and time stands still!  So while I was getting ready to tell you about how stressed out time has made me this week…Jesus and Jimmy said, “Maggie.  Chill out!  Just breathe a minute…”.  It was nice.  But now it’s over.

I’m a little behind on my school work this week, had a five page paper due on Wednesday, spoke to a group of elementary school students about my mission trip on Friday, had forgotten was speaking to the group of elementary school students so I had to get that put together, and presented at church this morning on my mission trip!  All the while, I’m reading seven books and trying to get done with them, working on school work, planning ahead for school work, and thinking about next week when I’m chaperoning my niece and nephew (they’re too old to babysit!).  I’ve let time get the best of me this week.

“Get the best of me”.  So I googled that phrase because I had a thought.  This phrase means that something has gotten control over your behavior according to one website.  Here, however, is my thought.  Time didn’t get the best of me in that it took control of my behavior.  Time got the best of me in the sense that I let my worry about wasted time take from me the best I have to offer of myself.  Can I elaborate on that?  Sure thing.  I procrastinated a little on my paper.  I forgot the presentation for the kids (actually got my dates confused…).  That isn’t good.  But…if I had quit worrying about my lack of time, each project would’ve gotten 100% of my best effort under constraints.  Right?  As it were, I let worry take up nearly 50% of my operating power…meaning that these really important things only had 50% of my best to work with.  Just because I was worried about how to best use my time.  Well Time…you got me this time.  But I’m wise to you now!


I have shared with two different groups this week on my mission trip to Guatemala last September.  It has served as a precious reminder of the amazing things I learned and saw and the unbelievable truths I learned and hopefully helped teach.  I’ve thought frequently about the Living Water devotional book I got to help me prepare for this trip.  One of the days really…took my breath away.  I did these devotions in the morning before we went to work in the community.  I woke up early on Wednesday and opened my book and the first words literally took my breath away.

Jesus died thirsty.

Whoa.  I mean…whoa.  John 19:28, in the ESV says it this way: “After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), ‘I thirst’.”

I’m just going to let you think about that one.  No more words.

Battle of the Books

Okay, I have now presented on my trip three times.  One “big, official” presentation, my church for Baptist Women’s Day, and this battle of the books club.  If you’re not sure what battle of the books is…I’m sorry for you.  IT’S AWESOME!  There is a set of books that all the groups read and then they get together and compete by answering questions about the books.  I was in battle of the books in middle school and really enjoyed it!  Anyway, this wonderful woman from my church reached out to me a while back and asked if I would come talk to the kids because one of their books was A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park.  It is based on the true story of a man named Salva Dut and his experience of the water crisis and the civil war in Sudan.  I had seen this book before and thought it seemed interesting and since I was presenting because of this book, I decided to buy it and read it.  When I got done…I was furious.  I have been learning more and more about the water crisis for a while now and that hurts my heart; but reading about what children went through during the Sudanese civil war enraged me.  I encourage you to read the book because it is eye opening!  I also encourage you to check out Salva Dut’s program that provides fresh water for his own people in Sudan!

But I got way off track!  I wanted to talk to you about these awesome chillens!  So they all had snacks and drinks (soda, tea, gatorade, etc.) and I start talking about my experience.  I talked my deal and then the instructor helped me realize how important it was to put some perspective on this for kids.  For example, sharing information like the distance Salva’s father walked.  He was sick from lack of clean water and walked 300 miles to go to a clinic.  Three.  Hundred.  Miles.  Y’all…that’s 5,400 football fields.  While sick.

I’m telling you all this because children are amazing…and I received the highest compliment I’ve ever gotten on a presentation of any kind.  I was about half way through when the first kid got up to refill his cup.  And instead of putting grape soda back in it…he got a fresh bottle of water.  Then the next kid got up.  No coke for him…fresh water.  And another water…and another…and another.  It was one of the sweetest, most genuine, and excellent things I’ve ever witnessed.

I encourage you to check out Salva’s story, check out A Long Walk to Water, and play around on Living Water’s website.  They have some amazing opportunities to help!  Every blue underlined word on this post will take you to a website about one of these things!  Choose to make a difference.  If the fourth graders are doing it?  Yeah…I won’t go there.  I’ll let you get there by yourself.

Also…”Happy Ending” by Sugarland.  Shuffle started this post perfectly and ended it that way.

Love each other.

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