Friday, April 18, 2014

Some Reflections on Current Water Rationing: How's Your Reserve Tank?

It is strange while in the bathroom just now during the two days when water the water came back on, a few thoughts came to mind how this rationing exercise had shaped some of my habits with regards to water. For those not in the know, the western coast of peninsular Malaysia is facing a dry spell, and the water dam level is at a critical stage. The predicted prolonged dry spell may continue and the authorities decided that water rationing would be the prudent thing to do. Hence what was started as a month long exercise in March, with an alternate two days on and two days off cycle, is now extended for another month. If the situation does not improve, this may continue beyond April.
The Sungei Selangor Dam in a photograph taken on 31 March 2014. The low water level at the dam has been caused by a dry spell that has hit the country.

What is interesting in my behaviour modifications is that I find myself saving water even when the water is full on. The hidden water reserve tank above the house, unnoticed and unimportant during times of plenty, suddenly becomes an all consuming concern with the question: "How long will it last?" The ubiquitous pail is in every bathroom during the dry spell and I am ever careful how that pail of water is being used. Instead of a full flush of the cistern, I now use the water from the pail, with an incessant desire to use water to the minimal. While lathering the shampoo into my hair, I turn off the water and no longer allows the shower to run without any definite purpose. I have even learnt how to bath with a pail of water by doing everything at one go! You know the drift here.

Behaviour modification comes when there is a lack of resources, like money or time. Here are my spiritual reflections:

1. Be careful and purposeful in how we use the resources we have. It is a gift from God. When there is plenty, we handle them carelessly and without thoughts at times. We are called to be conscious of our environment as the stewards of God-given resources in our land. The right ethical and biblical response through this is that we are to be conservationist and environmentalist at heart and practice in that sense.

2. There is a definite capacity to our human resources we have in terms of time, energy and finance. No one has more than 24 hours. Therefore planning is important. Why is it that some people can do so much more than others? No one can go beyond the number of calories his body can sustain. Therefore rest and recreation is important. Even for a wealthy man, his financial resources is limited. He can be a bankrupt in a blink of an eye when he is not careful. Therefore prudence and wise investment is a necessity.

3. The importance of the reserve tank comes to the fore in the times of lack. One man found out that his reserve tank doesn't last more than a day and upon checking by climbing up to the roof for the very first time, he discovered two things. First, the float did not work well, thus reducing the capacity of the tank to less than half. Secondly, the tank is full of filthy sediments due to lack of proper cleaning and maintenance since they moved in. Some time back, I had climbed up to the roof to clean my water tank and discovered that my neighbour's tank was half covered as the lid had detached itself and full of green slimy mould at the side. I informed my neighbour of it. 

It is time to climb up again. We usually do not think of our spiritual, relational, emotional, intellectual and physical reserve tanks until we hit a crisis. It will be horrifying to discover that it is almost empty and there are not much reserves left. Reserves are built over time with care and planning. Like making regular time with God and people who are important in our lives. They are the ones who will be the most important in our times of need. Great emotional and mental health allows us to handle challenging situations and I had often said that the real man shows up in times of crisis. Whether he has what it takes will be demonstrated then. Right eating and exercises build up a healthy body to last the distance. 

I am reminded of what Jesus said about our hearts: Luke 6:45 “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” We need to store what is good into our hearts because out of that will be the fruits of our lives. Often we revel in the big things and forget that the daily routines are the vital building blocks that will be the foundation of things to come.

Spiritually, feeding on the Word of God and prayer is of paramount importance to spiritual health and the constant use of spiritual gifts builds up our inner man. (For e.g. Hebrews 5:14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.) 

As the cliché goes "When the going gets tough, the tough gets going." What if you are not tough when the going gets tough? How's your reserve tank?

No comments:

Post a Comment