While working along the coast in southern Mexico, our team was digging an irrigation well to supply much needed water to a new agriculture project we were developing for a tiny remote community. There was a lot of excitement around this well, because we knew that without it and the life-source it would provide for the crops, they would eventually die and fade away. The fresh water from the well would sustain countless farms and families for years to come. Our concern was how close it was in proximity to the ocean. We knew that there was an aquifer nearby but we also knew that if we missed tapping into the fresh sweet water of the aquifer, we would be tapping into the salty, bitter water pushed up from the pressure of the ocean.
As we anticipated the last few feet of digging, then breaking through and seeing the reward of our effort, the clear water swirled around the hole and began too fill it to capacity! Immediately, we dropped a bucket into the water, lifted it up, filled our cups, sipped … and in an instant, the good intentions, the hard work, the sweat became all for naught as we realized that the water filling our reservoir was bitter. It looked clean, but there was no way we could pour this water out onto the fragile plants. The salty water would destroy the crops we were preparing to invest into, hoping to establish a source of sustenance for generations to come.
The laws of nature are irrefutable, we can hope all we wanted to, but the truth was this well would never supply sweet water. It looked clean and it was cool, but the source from which it came could only provided bitter and salty water.
In today’s social environment, I see calls for love, compassion, and tolerance, yet out of the same mouths I hear proclamations of hate, defamation, ridicule, and violence towards those who are of differing ideologies and morals. On the surface, the appearance leads one to expect sweet, fresh water, but when tasting the words flowing out of their mouths … it holds the taste of bitterness.
Does a spring bring forth both fresh and bitter water? Can a fig tree produce olives? Nor can salt water produce fresh. We curse others who have been made in the likeness of God, yet out of the same mouth comes both blessing and cursing. We have a moral obligation to speak in a manner that reflects our love for God and profound respect for His creation. When the source, our hearts, are truly filled with what is good, then our words will reflect this through our words.
By the way … our hard work on the well started over and in time, we tapped deep into sweet, refreshing, life giving water! Today, the tiny valley is green with life.
--by Ed Apffel, Chairman of Board of Directors