Posted by: cmittermeier | December 11, 2014

A Bucket & a Hose

I have been trying to find a way to express something I do not like in a lot of new age spirituality stuff, and last night it came to me… the hose and a bucket. I know, I know, its a bit hard to see at first glance. Let me know at the end if it is still fuzzy. Now, this is not a full treaties on what raises my eyebrows, its just one part, but before I begin on an aspect I don’t like I would like to say a few positive elements.

Every search for truth starts somewhere, and if you are starting there – good for starting! In all searches you will find a mix of truth and half-truth, even some out right lies possibly mixed in. Your job is to test every spirit and be open to the fullness of truth. Many new age spiritual groups have whispers of truth, as you journey deeper in the church you won’t have to leave it all behind just because you started outside the church. That which is true you will find in the church, in one way or another. The other stuff, well, that you will have to leave behind – and this post is about something I decided a long time ago to leave behind.

Like many in my early years I enjoyed a good self-help book, and there was a lot written on how powerful we were if we just applied ourselves, just believed in ourselves. Positive thinking was all you really needed, visualization would carry you through. There is an enormous amount of truth in those ideas, but, and I can’t stress this enough, it also fell short and once I realized why I was better able to make use of the truth.

Personal power – the “you can do anything you set your mind to” – that is what I have left behind when I pulled the truth out of the mixture. In Catholic terms, what got left behind is pride. I have a news flash – I am not the creator of the universe, I am not all-powerful. There are things in this world I will never do, no matter how hard I set my mind to them. I’m not talking about jumping off a cliff and soaring like an eagle things, either. I’m talking about something many addicts recognize: I can’t battle my disordered tendencies alone and win.

If I am to be the source of my will-power, the source of my “you can do it”, then it is limited to a finite amount. Those ideas, motivators, they may have filled my bucket up for a while, but eventually they run dry. Not to mention that I am battling not just temptations inside myself, but from the world and other nasties. True, I can find other temporary sources in the world to battle with me, there are some great ones that I used in the past – weight watchers and for instance. But they too are finite, and it relied on me to keep filling the bucket. They are tools I must make use of.

When I pray verbal prayers on personal transformation, I find several common elements to those written in the church. I am not the source of the change, I am the one who cooperates with the change. If the change is the will of God, there is a promise it will happen. There are no promises the change will occur without effort, but that the burden will be light. Though I could continue for many paragraphs, I will end with a favourite aspect for me, namely that I will not make the changes alone.

Take a look for a moment on that first aspect: I am not the source of the change, I am the one who cooperates with it. That is a powerful statement. I am not the source of the water. As I have contemplated the scene of the woman at the well, I have come to realize all those worldly helps that inflated my ego were just like the water she drew each day from the well. I no longer want that water, but the living water.

13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again; 14 but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

Now, as I no longer carry water from a well and have springs around me bubbling up, I changed the imagery to a hose. I am finite, to conquer my disordered tendencies (and over eating most definitely is disordered) I will need that hose to continue providing living water.

There is one other reason I like the idea of a hose… a hose connects to the source. I can disconnect from the source and then all I have is the water left in the hose. If I keep it connected I will never have to worry about running out, because I was not the source and my source, being God, is quite infinite.

I hope that explains the difference, one is a half truth that anchors on my pride to keep filled with water, the other anchors on a living source of water that relies on my admission of humility.



  1. Beautifully put!!

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