Early this year, my daughter’s homeschool co-op announced that there would be a science fair in the Spring. As my daughter is only five, I quickly Googled some easy and fun projects that she could complete with minimal mama-interference, while still learning how to properly conduct an experiment and carry out the scientific method. I read through lists of baking soda volcanoes, colored water projects, and dozens of other ideas. My daughter settled on a project that involved planting 4 seeds in 4 different pots of soil and “watering” them with water, milk, juice, and soda, respectively.
We went to the local gardening store and asked the shop owner which seeds would have the best chance of growing in less than ideal circumstances. She recommended some grass seeds and also pointed us in the direction of peat pots and potting soil. We went home and immediately planted our little projects. In her crooked little handwriting, she labeled each pot and then poured in the required liquid. Then we waited. The next day we “watered” the plants again. And waited.
Finally, on the third day, we saw little sprouts. But only out of two of the pots — water and milk. We watered them again with their respective liquids and kept waiting to see if those other two pots would sprout.
The grass seeds being fed water were flourishing. They grew taller and more robust every single day. The milk wasn’t far behind! In fact, after a few days the plant being fed milk was on par with the water plant. The juice and soda plants remained barren, despite being watered just as frequently as the other, well-producing, two.
You can see where I’m going with this, can’t you? When the plants were watered with unhealthy, sugary liquid, they didn’t produce anything. Even the seeds that boasted being the easiest to grow would not sprout while being fed an unhealthy diet. But the seeds that were being fed water and milk? They were flourishing!
So now I know, grass grows best with water or milk. Our hearts and our lives are like this. What we consume — mentally, physically, emotionally — it matters. Philippians 4:8 tells us to think about things that are pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and worthy of praise. And Proverbs 4:23 encourages us to guard our hearts! We need to feed ourselves with good, praiseworthy things. Things that point to Christ and the true Gospel of salvation.
Are you living on a diet of inflammatory social media posts, a never-ending news cycle, or a slew of other people’s opinions? This is like soda or juice for your soul. It might taste good as you’re taking it in — maybe social media helps you feel connected or the news helps you feel informed. But if you’re looking for life from those sources, you will not flourish.
A week or two into our project, I noticed a weird smell in my house. I checked the trash cans, I checked the fridge, I checked everywhere! I couldn’t find where this awful, musty smell was coming from. Suddenly, it hit me. The milk. I sniffed the grass pot that we had been feeding with milk. Sure enough, it stank. It was moldy. We had gotten more than enough data for our experiment, so I promptly threw out all of the grass. Lesson learned.
Sometimes we can look like we’re flourishing on the outside, but we have moldy roots just like that grass fed by milk. If we’re trying to derive our worth, our security, or our purpose from anything other than Christ, our lives will show it and we’re going to have to eventually throw out that life. A life like that isn’t sustainable, it stinks. We need Christ as our wellspring of life — our wellspring of fresh water. It’s no coincidence that Jesus describes himself as Living Water. Come to Him, drink of His water; you will never be thirsty again.
“But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again.” John 4:14