One of my favorite modern-day parables is titled “Desert Pete.” It’s about a man who was walking across a desert. Dying of thirst, desperately needing water, he came upon a pump, right in the middle of the desert! There was a can tied to the handle of the pump, and in the can was a note.
The note read:
“This is a working pump. I put a new washer into it, and it ought last many years. But the washer dries out and the pump has got to be primed. Under the white rock, I buried a bottle of water. It’s out of the sun and all corked up. There’s enough in it to prime the pump, but NOT if you drink some first.
So pour about one-fourth of the water in and let her soak to wet the leather. Then pour in the rest, medium-fast, and then PUMP LIKE CRAZY! You’ll get water. The well has never run dry. Believe this!
When you get watered up, fill the bottle up again, and put it back like you found it for the next feller. (Signed) Desert Pete. P.S.
Remember: don’t go drinking up the water first! Prime the pump with it, and you’ll get all the water you can hold. And remember to leave a full bottle of water under the rock!”
We have been given the Word of God and many “treasures of the church” such as the traditional Creeds, the waters of Baptism, the bread and wine of Holy Communion. God doesn’t give us these gifts that we would use them one-time only, and certainly that we would use them only for ourselves. The gifts of God are not only for private use. We are called to use these gifts to prime the pump of our life, the well of our souls! We are to pass them on to others. We trust God that these gifts will quench the thirst of our souls, and the souls of many!
So I suggest again: prime the pump of your soul by reading the scriptures, participating in worship, being in fellowship in a church family, attending Bible Study and/or Sunday School, etc.
Desert Pete is a parable of the ways of God, teaching us to receive God’s gifts, to serve others with these gifts, and a reminder that there is enough of God’s gifts for all! Life is all about trusting in God, taking the risk to believe that God provides, and passing these gifts on to others.
May we be blessed to believe that, first, we receive from God. Then we pass these gifts along to others. The good news is that there will always be enough for everyone!