It seemed as if time had slowed down. Minutes felt like hours and hours like days. Dumbbells were shackled around their hiking boots. Backpacks topped of with bricks. Each step up the mountain was an accomplishment. Although every step meant a longer journey home. Water bottles were sucked dry by thirsty lips. The sun drifted off beyond the tops of hills, off to shed its light in some other distant land. It was their turn to borrow the sun.
As the remaining light fleeted, crickets and other strange bugs shared a tune, whether anyone was listening or not. Exhaustion slowly took hold of them without warning. Fatigue set in, deep within the bones. What had started out as an adventure, began to feel like a chore. Trail markers gave a false hope, one mile, two mile, three, it was all just the beginning. Who knew how far to the top. It seemed a never ending endeavor.
Water trickled from the side of the mountain and boldly crossed the trails path. What did it mean and from where did it come? It was the first sign of hope since the bottles ran dry. But was it safe to drink? They turned the caps and flipped the lids. Water slowly and gently percolated from the giving mountain into the bone dry bottle. The bottle was thankful, but the parched mouths even more. Refreshing. Life-giving. Vitality. Energy. Strength. Maybe this is what Jesus meant when he said he is the living water.