Monday, June 04, 2007

Valleys fill first

Down in the valley - dyin' of thirst
Down in the valley - it seems I'm at my worst
But my consolation is that You've baptized this earth
Down in the valley - valleys fill first.

(Caedmon's Call, "Valleys Fill First," from A Long Line of Leavers)
My friend Ted and I were talking about mountaintop experiences. One of our youth-group members had come back from a conference, and was all fired-up with enthusiasm for the organization and its causes. He remarked that this had been exactly the same case a year ago, when he had come back from the last conference, too.

I smiled, and talked of the number of people I'd known who had gone every year to Promise Keepers' conferences. Not a few of them went every year, searching for that "salvation moment," and kept giving their lives to Christ, seeking a renewal of the "mountaintop moment."

I told my friend of the image of this song by Caedmon's Call that I'd heard several years ago. I have always loved the idea that the presence of the Spirit was like rain from Heaven. And that when I'm dying of thirst, spiritually, it's best to be in the valleys, because when it rains, it's the valleys that will fill first.

A liturgical aside - it's funny to me: we spend so much emergy and time as a Church focusing on the Advent/Christmas and Lent/Easter seasons. Yet there is so much in the liturgical calendar of what we call "ordinary time" - the time between Pentecost and Advent. It's there that I spend most of my life, actually (even as I stand in the light of both Christmas and Easter).

And it's in those times that I sometimes find myself "dying of thirst." And waiting for the Water.

God, I'm grateful for this understanding- the knowledge that when the rain of the Spirit falls, I'll find relief for my thirst in these spiritual valleys. Help me continue to seek your Living Water, even in the times when it seems my thirst cannot be quenched. Help me remember that I am in the valleys for a reason.


(the image is of Mountain Lake in New Zealand, from


Peter said...

It's hardest in Ordinary Time--no distractions...

Keith Brenton said...

My college roommate - also named Steve - once told me then that he thought "Mountaintop experiences are overrated."

I was a little taken aback and asked him why.

"Because it's when I'm in the pits of the valleys that He lifts my face."