By Chris Norris
Psalm 87:7 – As they make music they will sing, “All my fountains are in you.”
The interesting thing about music is that you can hear a song over and over again, yet never understand its meaning or relate to its lyrics. Then one day the song comes on the radio after a significant event in your life and suddenly it hits you: “Woah. This song is deep bro.” Okay, maybe “bro” isn’t a part of your regular vocabulary, but I’m sure this has happened at some point in each of our lives.
For me, it happened this past week as I was on one of my mid-workday walks in Downtown Indianapolis, a routine I adopted this summer to get away from my desk and refocus as I’m completing my internship. At the beginning of my internship, I would leave the office for 15-20 minutes and walk aimlessly around Downtown Indianapolis until it was time to head back. It was exciting at first; I had never really explored downtown until this summer, so I enjoyed getting to scope out new buildings, restaurants, and hangout spots. But like most things in life, at some point my walks got less exciting and less satisfying.
That was until the Monument Circle Fountain (pictured above) was turned on again after being off for the cold months of the year. When I noticed one weekend that the fountain was finally back on, I made sure to stop by on my walk at work the next day. Each day after that, I would at some point come to the fountain just to enjoy its beauty and the noise-cancelling, soothing sound of its flowing water. Gradually, this time spent at the fountain consumed more and more of my walk each day, until finally I decided that I was going to walk straight to the fountain during my walks and just enjoy it until it was time to go back to work.
One day as I was standing at the fountain, a song popped into my head called “All My Fountains” by Chris Tomlin. I laughed at my cheesiness and shrugged it off. Then it happened again the next day. And the day after that. I finally started thinking more about the song and the meaning behind it. When I looked up the lyrics one night after work, it suddenly all came together. This section of the song especially hit me:
I’ve rambled on my own
Never believing I would find
An everlasting stream
Your river carries me home
Let it flow, let it flow
Open the heavens
Come Living Water
All my fountains are in You
The dictionary definition for the word “ramble[d]” (first line of lyrics) is: “verb; walk for pleasure, typically without a definite route.” Reading that definition took my breath away, especially since I looked up the definition after I had already started writing this post. It was almost as if God was confirming the need for people to realize and understand this truth, myself included.
What I didn’t realize until I discovered the fountain was that my rambling was not bringing me the satisfaction and peace that my heart desired. Although the aimless walks were exciting for a while, they ultimately did not bring lasting joy or pleasure or meaning to my day. Instead, the rambling was just a distraction to keep from dealing with my thoughts, worries, etc. When I started coming to the fountain, I realized I would always return to work feeling more satisfied and more refreshed.
This same concept applies when I think about my life. I’ve spent a lot of my life rambling. Whether it’s searching for satisfaction in relationships, friendships, jobs, my future, or even in ministry, none of those things have ever fully satisfied me. As you may have noticed, none of the things I included in my list are inherently bad things. However, when I try to put those things above my relationship with Christ, I have found that I am not satisfied.
John 10:10 – The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
The thief comes in many different forms for many different people, but the one thing that is true for everyone is that there are things in our lives that try to steal our attention from the One who gives life to the full. Filling our lives with “good” things doesn’t take away our need for Christ. I often lose sight of this when I start worrying about my future. Of course it is good and healthy to set goals and to be ambitious, but when it takes our attention away from the One who already knows our future, it becomes a distraction and steals our joy.
John 4:13-14 – Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
John 7:37-38 – On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”
Countless times in my life I have seen these passages to be true. When I get my water from other sources, I always end up feeling thirsty and empty and longing for something more. When I come to Jesus for living water, I am satisfied beyond explanation. I am truly quenched. An ongoing personal relationship with Jesus Christ is the only thing in this world that satisfies no matter what. It is the only thing in life that never lets us down.
Merriam-Webster defines fountain as “the source from which something proceeds or is supplied.” If we allow all of our fountains to be found in Christ, then not only will we be supplied by Living Water and fully satisfied in Christ, but this satisfaction and fulfillment will flow over, or proceed, into all areas of our life. I want Tomlin’s lyrics to be true for my life, “Open the heavens. Come Living Water. All my fountains are in You.” Let’s stop rambling and instead start running toward Jesus. He’s waiting.