“Drink water from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well. Should your springs be scattered abroad, streams of water in the streets? Let them be for yourself alone, and not for strangers with you. Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth... Let her affection fill you at all times with delight, be infatuated always with her love. Why should you be infatuated, my son, with a loose woman and embrace the bosom of an adventuress? For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the Lord, and he (the Lord) watches all his paths.” (Prov 5: 15-21)
Today, in our Internet Age, I can “drink water” from many available “wells,” and also “scatter” my own all over the place. What does this mean? It means that I am easily distracted from my own vocation and tradition; from being of service and usefulness in the specific ways I am given, according to the upbringing, education, talents, people, situations, and other gifts I am given. I might forget even to speak with the person/s right in front of me, if my nose is in the little screen on my phone, constantly distracted “elsewhere.”
Lent offers me a kind of “crash-course” in re-identifying with “the wife of my youth.” (And yes, I realize the analogy is an awkward one, since I happen to be a woman. But please just work with me here.) The “wife of my youth” is my own Tradition, which has nurtured me, and cared for me, and continues to be there for me, reminding me of who I am, even at the times when I’ve looked “elsewhere.” So today let me drink “from my own well,” and re-focus on the abundant blessings I have in the here and now. Lord, help me be grateful and useful today, on the immediate paths You have set before me. Amen!