Drip, Drip, Drip

Drip, drip, drip. There are two ways to empty a tankful of water. You can crank open the faucet and let the water flow. Or—and this method is much slower, but just as effective—you can let the faucet drip one drop at a time. Either way the tank will eventually empty. Two government disclosures this week—one from the IRS and the other from the Justice Department—are a reminder that the prized civil liberties upon which this nation was founded can also be emptied by the perennial drip, drip, drip of freedom leakage. Somebody within the Internal Revenue Service decided that any organization with “Tea Party” or “Patriot” in its name deserved extra scrutiny before being granted tax-exempt status. I.e., right-leaning political organizations were to receive this more stringent examination, all the while moderate and left-leaning organizations were left alone. While I am not a supporter of any political organization—right, middle or left—nevertheless I was astounded that in a nation that cherishes its right to independence from mainstream opinions such a blatant discriminatory action of government is possible! Then a few days later we learned that the phone records of the news organization, the Associated Press, were secretly examined by the Justice Department of our national government without ever informing the AP organization of its investigation. Purportedly the government was concerned about news leaks regarding the CIA’s clandestine efforts in Yemen to thwart another airline bombing. I.e., for the sake of presumed national security, the civil liberty of freedom of press can be breached with no disclosure at all. Again, political alliances notwithstanding, since when does this nation’s government have the power to abrogate the constitutional rights of its citizens and organizations, irrespective of security demands? Drip, drip, drip. One more reminder that the apocalyptic scenario predicted in Revelation 13 is losing its improbability one drip at a time. “Blessed is the one who stays awake” (Revelation 16:15). A red-letter admonition near the end of time and Scripture for this generation. Because one day we will awaken only to discover that the tank has been emptied. One drip at a time. But the notion of “drip” isn’t entirely negative. Because in the metaphors of Scripture even a drip portends water, and outpouring water is God’s favorite descriptor of His outpouring Spirit. “For I will pour out water on the thirsty land and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring and My blessing on your descendants” (Isaiah 44:3). But have we become satisfied with just a drip, when in fact God is offering the torrential outpouring of the Holy Spirit? That’s why we’ve chosen as a university congregation to consider the ninety days between us and the advent of another new school year to be a critical “preseason of prayer.” And so we are pledging ourselves to pray every day between now and the new year for God to fulfill His promise, “I will do a new thing” (Isaiah 43:19). No longer can we be satisfied with the interminable drip, drip of “the old thing.” We desperately need the promised outpouring of the Holy Spirit on this university. Rearranging the furniture or new wallpaper will never slake our  thirst or fulfill our mission. “I will do a new thing and pour out My Spirit on those who are thirsty.” Then why wouldn’t our prayers for that thirst and His promise be our #1 priority this summer?