A DRINK OF WATER
I had a couple of good buddies that used to live down in South Alabama. Their names were Bernard Haygood and Jimmy Glenn. One day they were out riding through the South Alabama foothills and they got a little thirsty. Bernard was the driver. He’s also the athletic one, so he hopped out of the car, and ran around to this old abandoned pump there in the back of this old farmhouse.
He grabbed the handle of the pump and he started to pump. Now let me say that when old Bernard grabbed that handle and started to pump you know, since it was August and brutally hot that day, he was anxious to get some water out. So he really got after it, and was just pumping away. After a couple of minutes he said, “Jimmy, you better get that old bucket over there and dip some water out of the creek. We gonna have to prime this pump.” All that really means is that you gotta put something in before you can expect to get anything out.
The pump is really saying in another way what we’ve said so many times, and that is that you gotta be and do, before you can have. Too many people stand in front of the stove of life, and they say, “Stove now, you give me some heat, and then I’ll put some wood in you.” So many times the employee goes to the employer and says, “Now give me a raise. And when you give me the raise I’ll start coming to work on time. I’ll start doing the things you really want me to do.” What they’re saying is, “Reward me now and then later I’ll perform.” That’s not the way it works. First you’ve gotta put something in before you can expect to get anything out.
Good old Bernard wanted to drink water. But the question is, just how much pumping are you willing to do in order to get that drink of water? And after a few minutes he said, “Jimmy I just don’t believe there’s any water down there.” And Jimmy said, “Yes it is, Bernard. You know in South Alabama the wells are deep.” We’re glad they are, aren’t we? Because you see, the deeper the well, the cleaner, the sweeter, the purer, the better tasting the water is. Isn’t that another lesson the pump can teach us?
Isn’t it true that those things which have value are those things which we have to work for over a period of time? Yes, it’s absolutely true. Those things which have value are those things which we make that honest effort to acquire. We work at it and we do a little sweating in the process. And by now, old Bernard is really beginning to sweat. I mean, it’s August, it’s hot. Finally, he just threw up his hands and he said, “Jimmy, there just ain’t no water down there.”
Jimmy said, “Don’t stop Bernard, don’t stop. If you stop, that water’s gonna go all the way back down, and then you’re gonna have to start all over.” Isn’t that the story of life?
- You have to invest in an effort before you see the results.
- Isn’t it true that so many people lose out on a lot of effort they’ve expended in the past, because they don’t do just a little bit more?