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Flowing Stream or Stagnant Pool?

Girl on dockNear our neighborhood are two houses that provide a study in contrast. Each has a pond on its property, and each of the owners has built a little dock at the edge of his pool. When you drive by in the spring or summer, you can see comfortable chairs set out on both docks that invite people to relax beside the water. In those respects the houses are similar.

But in one aspect, they differ. One of those owners took the trouble to install a circulatory fountain in his pond; the other did not. Therefore, one pond sparkles in the sunshine; the other turns green and stagnant.

Which would you like to live beside?

Whenever I see those ponds I think of this powerful saying by Charlotte Mason: “Teach from a flowing stream, not from a stagnant pool” (The Story of Charlotte Mason, p. 288).

A flowing stream has the benefit of fresh lines of water running into it, as well as an outlet. It enjoys a continual circulation. A stagnant pool just sits.

You see the comparison, don’t you?

We who are teaching need to be careful that we have a continual supply of fresh ideas, as well as an outlet for them. Those who allow their minds and hearts to just sit are in danger of stagnating.

It’s easy to spend time, energy, and effort planning for our children’s education, pondering what a delightful feast of ideas we can spread for them, and yet neglect to do the same for ourselves. If we’re not careful to keep a steady supply of fresh ideas coming into our own lives, we may be spreading their feast beside our own green, stagnant pool. And who wants to sit down and eat there?

What are you planning to do this year to keep fresh ideas flowing into your own life?

One Response to “Flowing Stream or Stagnant Pool?”

  1. Janell January 10, 2014 at 1:11 pm #

    Flowing Waters seems to be my week’s theme. I thought of this blog post immediately after reading today’s Faith Check Book From The Spurgeon Archive.(http://www.spurgeon.org/fcb/fcb.cgi)

    January 10
    C. H. Spurgeon
    Divine Recompense

    He that watereth shall be watered also himself. (Proverbs 11:25)

    If I carefully consider others, God will consider me, and in some way or other He will recompense me. Let me consider the poor, and the Lord will consider me. Let me look after little children, and the Lord will treat me as His child. Let me feed His flock, and He will feed me. Let me water His garden, and He will make a watered garden of my soul. This is the Lord’s own promise; be it mine to fulfill the condition and then to expect its fulfillment.

    I may care about myself till I grow morbid; I may watch over my own feelings till I feel nothing; and I may lament my own weakness till I grow almost too weak to lament. It will be far more profitable for me to become unselfish and out of love to my Lord Jesus begin to care for the souls of those around me. My tank is getting very low; no fresh rain comes to fill it; what shall I do? I will pull up the plug and let its contents run out to water the withering plants around me. What do I see? My cistern seems to fill as it flows. A secret spring is at work. While all was stagnant, the fresh spring was sealed; but as my stock Rows out to water others the Lord thinketh upon me. Hallelujah!

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