Pastor in the Pasture: Windmills and Water
I grew up on ranches that didn’t have any running streams or creeks. It sure didn’t rain much either. Therefore, catching surface water was little and far between opportunities. I remember riding around in the back of the pickup and checking rain gauges after a good thunderstorm. It was always a welcome sight and event. There might be some run off or flash flooding but most times it could be dry.
With this type of climate the work of providing water for livestock was mostly handled by windmills. Most of them were Aremotor, although you could find a Samson, Eclipse, Challenge, and an occasional Dempster or Monitor. My dad along with working on ranches throughout my life also had a water well and windmill repair business. So, on the ranch or in the water well business I tailed a few rods in my life time. There are windmills that I worked on 35 to 40 years ago that are still pumping water today. Shoot, some of those windmills were already 30 to 40 years old or older when I worked on them. Knowing that always made me laugh when some rancher would say, ‘These dang windmills cost too much to work on and operate.” I don’t know many pieces of machinery that can literally run for 20 years plus with a little oil once a year and changing the leathers when they wear out. The thousands and thousands of gallons of water pumped with that little investment and maintenance is amazing to me.
These sentinels on the land not only provide water for livestock but also the people that live there and have lived there. These windmills have also given ranch and farm kids hours and hours of swimming time in the reservoir where the water is stored. They bring about a peace of mind, being a good source of life giving water, to man and livestock. That peace can also be experienced when you hear the soothing sound of the wind through the blades. That, coupled with the gentle clunking sound in each stroke can put the most restless person into a peaceful sleep.
Jesus talked about both peace and life giving water on different occasions. We find an encounter in God’s Word that happens between a Samaritan woman and Himself. She needs some peace in her life. She’s been searching for it as the song goes, “in all the wrong places.” She comes to the well at a time of day that isn’t the norm. I mean, let’s face it when you’re her kind of woman you’ve experienced enough shame and ridicule. Her need for water for her physical body leads her to find Water that is life giving. “Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” (John 4:13-14) She had found THE source of life giving water and a peace that flowed forth! The account goes on to reveal that many believed because of her word about Jesus and hearing Him as well firsthand.
Have you been to the well? Has it become a well of water springing up out of you? Have you told others because of what you experienced at the well. My encouragement is that if you’ve found the life giving Water in Jesus Christ to share that with those that need Him. I’m sure it has brought you peace in your life and it will do the same in others.
Well, I best go check the oil in that windmill…it’s pumping life giving water.
I’ll see y’all out in the pasture!