• Jonathan Shuerger

How Water is Bad for You (How You Can Not Be a Mudman Mutant)

Water is boring and, depending on where you live, tastes like garbage.

It is so necessary for life, that scientists have the sheer gall to tell us that we need eight glasses of it a day. It's hard not to laugh hysterically at that absurd assertion, because I don't want to hurt their feelings, but I've probably had one glass of water in the last 48 hours.

And I'm doing fine. I'm sure it's supposed to make that crinkling sound when I blink.

Today, I want to highlight another of water's properties, though: its ability to put out fires.

Everyone has a fire within them.

This fire fuels what they do by providing the why they need to do it. Passionate, driven people are defined by a motivation that burns within them.

In the book of I Kings, chapter 18, we see a really cool story of the challenge issued by Elijah, prophet of God, to the 850 prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel. The challenge was simple: build an altar, put a bull on it, and pray that your deity hit it with fire. The god that answered by fire would be God.

The prophets of Baal went first. They screamed, cried, prayed and danced around their sacrifice for hours, to no avail. It got so bad that Elijah mocked them in the middle of their rituals. Baal never answered their cries, and they were forced to retire in defeat.

Well, at best a draw, because Elijah's God hadn't done anything, either.

Elijah followed the parameters for the challenge. He built his altar and placed the offering on it. He did not put any fire under the offering, which was a common tactic in the temples of Baalim to manufacture a miracle by creating fire from seemingly nowhere.

Elijah started playing on Hard Mode.

The man had a trench dug around the altar. He commanded young men to take four huge barrels of water and dump them on the offering and the altar.

Quick question, boys and girls. What do you dump onto wood to keep it from lighting?


Elijah was not done. He told the young men to do it two more times, for a total of twelve barrels of water. The sacrifice was soaked, along with the wood and the altar. The trench was sloshing with all the water moving around in it.

So let's examine these components.

The number twelve in this context represents the twelve tribes of Israel; this was a challenge taking place in front of the tribes and for their benefit. The water kept the wood from lighting easily, or at all.

Keep in mind, this took place after years of a drought. Water was precious in this time, and Elijah dumped twelve barrels of it all over his sacrifice, seemingly in a bid to derail his chances at winning the challenge.

What on earth was Elijah doing?

Each barrel represented a precious tribe of Israel that undercut its own chances of having God's fire in their lives.

We know that Israel wanted God in their lives, because they showed up to the challenge in the first place. People that don't care about this topic would not have been there.

But they had been purposefully dousing their fire. Their wood was drenched, unfit to receive and maintain God's fire in their lives. This brings us to an axiom that we need to abide by.

You can't light wet wood.

Look, we have to drink water every day. It's boring, it's mundane, and it's good for us. But don't let the boring and mundane keep your fire from lighting. You need that. Without fire, you're just water and dirt walking around, some kind of bizarre mudman mutant.

Keep your wood dry, and don't be a mudman mutant. That's the lesson here.

For a bit of hope, if you're a mudman mutant now, read the rest of the story. God sent fire, enough to torch the sacrifice, scorch the altar, evaporate the water and glass the sand around it.

He can light that fire in you again.