Canal or Reservoir? Deep Living

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Canal or Reservoir: Deep Living

“If then you are wise, you will show yourself rather as a reservoir than a canal. A canal spreads abroad water as it receives it, but a reservoir waits until it is filled before overflowing, an thus without loss to itself ( it shares) its superabundant water.”

Bernard of Clairvaux

I stumbled over this quote in John Eldredge’s “Waking The Dead, The glory of a heart fully alive.” A book that is feeding my soul. This metaphor resonated with me immediately. Why; because I’ve been a canal. Okay let’s try that again, because for most of my life I’ve been a canal…A little canal spreading itself so thin it becomes parched and dry.

Canals are man-made channels for water. That serve one of two purposes; an aqueduct, water supply for humans and their needs or a waterway to convey boats, ships and people. Either way canals are a thoroughway; a means to an end, for conveying people and things.

Reservoir’s are also man made but instead of channels that convey, water they are water store houses, artificial lakes, deep pools of water.

Eldredge compares the store house of our lives, hearts and souls to the canal. He challenges readers to re-think how they are living.

Deep living. Meaningful investments. Words, deeds and actions that flow from an abundant self and heart. I’ve lived like a canal for most of my adult life. So caught up in the thoroughfare of life, getting somewhere, doing things, giving, helping, working, thinking, achieving I became dry, brittle, scarce.

Reservoir living is deep living. It is personal stewardship. It is self awareness. It is understanding that to give, convey and create one must first possess and be. Reservoir living recognizes that without receiving and storing up there is nothing to give.

In reality each of us is both canal and reservoir.

The question is how to balance the two. How abundant do you feel currently? Are your emotional, spiritual and physical reserves deep? Are you transacting in the canal of life in such a way that leaves you full, restored and energized or are you depleted, dry, washed up, good for little of anything?

Canal or Reservoir?

I’ve over invested, over worked, over worried, over about everything. I’m naturally attracted to convey especially when compared to rest, store, collect, receive, yield, pool, hold, allow. These days God is challenging me to a deeper type of living, being and leading. I am very aware that deep living, becoming a reservoir is really about stewardship. For it is out of my stores, that I can give.

Canal or reservoir, what are your thoughts? Experiences?

Pam Hoelzle

Learn more about me here

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