The wishing well… that fixture from folklore that people approach like a god. Water wells are commonly used to provide potable water for our consumption. The mythical type that we throw money into along with our requests? Yep they’re still around too, typically they have a fountain and are located in the center of shopping malls. We throw coins into them with our kids, making a wish… to? All in good fun.
The idea of wishing to a well or body of water says something about how important water is to our existence. When we toss money in, it may be something seemingly trivial or of little value, like a penny, but we attached a glimmer of hope along with it. We make light of it, sometimes joking about it and what not, but in our heart, at least some of the time, there is something more – call it a feeling, or desire, or just a wish. So while we may have just thrown in a penny, we really gave the water “god” a piece of our heart, and our hope. I guess in that regard, wishing at the well is sort of like what we do when we pray sometimes if we ask God to make something happen. The big difference being that we are worshiping a false god at the wishing well.
Why do I bring all of this up?
Well, I wanted to take a moment to think about the importance of water, because without it there would be no life here on earth. Yea, it’s that fundamental to life on our planet. Both science and the Bible agree on this point: the water came first.
Remember the phrase, “going to the well” – it’s from the 14th century. If you go to the well once too often it means your luck may have been depleted. Yep, you’ve pushed your luck a bit too far. As an athlete in high school, we used to go to the well – pushing hard when we were hungry for results. Pushing too hard can deplete your reserves, or empty the well. The same would be true if you approached that mythical wishing well too often, your luck would plain run out.
“Guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” That’s our verse from Proverbs, 4:23. Life flows from our heart, like water flows from the well. This is the deal that links the heart to the well, and life to water. So we can either learn to guard our heart through having a relationship with Jesus and learning from Him, or we can sing an ode to the wishing well.
Visiting the wishing well to satisfy the thirst in our heart is just like coming to Jesus…
“Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.
Give ear and come to me;
hear me, that your soul may live.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
my faithful love promised to David.
See, I have made him a witness to the peoples,
a leader and commander of the peoples.
Surely you will summon nations you know not,
and nations that do not know you will hasten to you,
because of the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel,
for he has endowed you with splendor.” Isaiah 55: 1-6
When we approach our true God, like we approach the wishing well, we come, listen, seek and call out to Him. He hears our voice and considers what we have to say. And, He always answers us with love. You see, God’s love is the same today as it was yesterday. It will be the same tomorrow, too. The love that God offers us is free. His love doesn’t run out, we can’t approach Him too often. I think that’s the well that I want to go to.
What are the hopes that bring you to sing to the well? How often do you typically go to God in prayer?
“Ode To The Wishing Well” is an excerpt from my forthcoming book, “The Wellspring Of Life.” You can read more about this book and my other titles by clicking this link.