A Drop of Water
I have no idea where the image came from; I have never thought about this before this time. Suddenly there popped into my head the curious question, what if I were a drop of water? It was not raining outside. I was nowhere near running water. Perhaps it was God’s gift to me or I really am going crazy! I prefer to think it was the former. God gave me a question---albeit a curious question. What if I were a drop of water?
There are always a couple ways of looking at something: being and doing. If I were water, that takes care of the being aspect. If I were water, then I am (be) water. The “doing” aspect is more intriguing in this case. If I were water, what would I do? Of course, the obvious answer is I would get things wet! So the question is, if I am a single drop of water, what do I want to get wet? A single drop is not much water.
If I were a drop of water, what could I do to make a difference? Maybe it is because I am a farm boy, but the answer came to me. I would fall on a small seed. It could be a flower seed. Because I was a farm boy, I knew the necessity of some moisture to make seeds germinate, take root and grow. If I were a drop of water, I would have one chance. I could fall on one place and only once. So I would land on a flower seed and hope for the best.
With that single act, I would be the hope for a flower. The flower seed has the potential for beauty. But until that potential is actualized, beauty will never be unleashed. A single drop of water might be all the difference. It is a small act. It would seem insignificant in the bigger picture. But without the moisture of the single drop, fecundity is not possible. A single drop of water has a right to feels its potency---its ability to make a difference.
Let turns this little imaginary story into an analogy. Let’s assume each one of us is like that single drop of water. On our own we may not be very much. I don’t know how many drops of water there are in the oceans of the world. That number would have an unbelievable number of zeros! I do know there are more than 7 billion people in the world. So by myself, I am not much. But like the single drop of water, I can potentially make a difference.
To make a difference, I need to look for a “seed” to water, just like the single drop of water makes a difference with a flower seed. A “seed” is any potential situation where my involvement will make a difference. It could be a financial gift of mine. But a bigger difference normally comes with my personal involvement. Money can be fairly impersonal and, in some ways, does not cost too much.
You can make a difference by bringing some beauty in the world, just like the single drop of water commenced the flower seed’s evolving into a beautiful thing. Or you might choose to work in a way to bring justice to a situation where injustice looms. There are still too many places in our culture where injustice rules the day. A little involvement by you or me might be enough to change the situation. We’ll never know unless we try.
One last thing occurs to me, as I ponder the question, what if I were a drop of water? It occurs to me I have only a couple choices: do something as water or do nothing and eventually evaporate! Only the first choice has any chance of making a difference. So the point is to do something.
A drop of water could fall into the ocean. That would be a nice experience of unity for the drop. It would now be part of a huge drop of water called an ocean. But that is not much of a difference-maker. Rather, the single drop of water is better off looking for a situation where it can make a difference. On one flower seed, it can make a profound difference---a transformational difference. A tiny seed can become a flower of beauty. That seems miraculous.
So it is with you and me. We can choose to do nothing and in a comparable way to water, our lives can evaporate. We can live, make no difference and lead a life of profound insignificance. Or we can opt for a way of living that makes a difference. Perhaps we can find a place to make a difference that no one else can do. A mother does that with a child. A teacher can do it with a student. A factory worker can even do it with a special approach to his or her own work.
The make a difference is to invite transformation in the place in which we find ourselves or with the people we find ourselves. Transformation does not have to be dramatic. It does not have to make the 6:00pm news! Again, think of a single drop on a tiny seed. It would be hard to tell anything happened. The transformation would be hidden and slow. The water would disappear and make it appear that the water had no effect. What a mistake that assumption would be!
So my challenge and your challenge is to figure out where we can do comparable transformational work in our situations. Personally I have a good chance with students. They seem to be my “seeds.” Find your own scene and go to work---to your transformational work.