I used to hide away in books.
Some were really smart books, I promise. But others were the romance, adventure, and sunny skies of Sweet Valley High.
Right alongside The Babysitter’s Club, this series stole my heart. What’s a 12-year-old girl not to love about California, twin sisterhood, high school, and “true” love??? A 12-year-old living frozen far north, nonetheless.
I wanted to get lost in those books. I wanted to be a Wakefield sister, living the kind of sunshiny perfection that existed in Sweet Valley, California. In my dreams.
But I was never meant to be a California girl–with a twin sister and a cute red convertible. I wouldn’t find happiness there, for more reasons than Sweet-Valley-Cali doesn’t exist outside of tween novels.
The thing is, you may never have dreamed of something as silly as life in Sweet Valley. But you dreamed of something. Or more likely, you still do. You dream of reaching some level, attaining some goal, arriving at some place, or becoming someone that finally does it for you–leaves you satisfied.
You’re thirsty for more. Or you can remember a time in your life when you were thirsty for so much more.
But look around. When people do this thing we call arrive, they’re never satisfied for long. Listen to interviews of athletes who accomplish great things. They’re focused on the next thing. They’re striving for a bigger goal. They won’t be satisfied until they get there.
Listen to celebrities. Being known, having the world at their fingertips–these haven’t filled them up enough. Listen to the rich. They’ve made it, supposedly. But it’s never enough. Or it’s too much to handle.
This morning, my kids and I read John 4, where Jesus sits with an outcast at a well and asks her for a drink of water. She objects, because Jesus was a Jew, and Jews weren’t even supposed to associate with people like her. But that didn’t deter Him.
Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:14 (NIV)
So I was sitting on Laguna Beach a few weeks back, long after the death of my California tween-dream. I hadn’t heard this song for at least a decade, but at the sight of palm trees and turquoise and perfect Pacific sands, I couldn’t stop singing it all the sudden.
“Like the woman at the well, I was seeking for things that could not satisfy.
And then I heard my Savior speaking, ‘Draw from my well that never shall run dry.’
Fill my cup, Lord. I lift it up, Lord. Come and quench this thirsting of my soul.
Bread of heaven, feed me till I want no more. Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole. (lyricsmode.com)
May it be what He’s done in you and me, and what He’s doing still. May we thirst for no other water ~ and look only to Him to be filled.