“One of the paradoxical bedrock truths of the Twelve-Step program is that we can stay spiritually alive only by giving away what we are receiving.”
J. Keith Miller, A Hunger For Healing
When I read this quote I had a mental picture of a deep well and a bucket being lowered into the well, filling, and being pulled back up. The water in the well only stayed fresh and drinkable if it was (paradoxically) constantly stirred up by the lowering and raising of the bucket. Left alone the water would become stagnant and poisoned.
I am the well; we all are. The water inside me is the water of life Jesus promised to the Samaritan woman at the well in the Gospel of John, Chapter 4. It wells up inside of me, but only if I stir up the water by giving it away. Jesus gave away more than anyone else in history and he was the most spiritually alive person in history. Conversely, consider some of the religious people among us who become the worst of tyrants: They forget that to stay alive they must constantly give away the water of life which they were given. Their ‘bucket’ does not descend and ascend; their water becomes stagnant and poisonous, and they poison everyone around them with hate, bitterness and judgment.
This spiritual principle is real; it’s not a metaphor. If I give away what I’ve learned in the Twelve Steps, I will live. If I keep the information to myself and fail to love those who suffer around me, I will die inside.
Are you stirring up the water of life inside yourself? Have you even received this water yet?