I Waterboarded a Corn Husker

I dunked his head all the way under. I had to lift him by his belt to get him submerged. I felt some struggle, maybe more than I expected. And I had to leave him there long enough to get my point across.

He was leaving our little community within 24 hours. He had grown up in this community where his siblings, parents, grandparents, and scores of cousins still remain. He was headed off to Nebraska to continue his education at the University of Nebraska. So, he was an obvious candidate for my sermon illustration.

Why would I do this? Maybe I am a bit sadistic, but I think it’s more that I really wanted to get the point across. And it is an important point.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.

Do we really hunger and thirst? I mean a thirst that overwrites every other desire. A desire that is obsessive and compulsive. We say we want to live for God, want to live right, and want to get to know Him more. But does our life show it?

So, I challenged them by showing what a real desire out of desperation looks like. A desire for air. I took my young padawan and had him kneel before the bucket of water, testing the temperature. I then took his head, pushed it under, even had to lift him by his belt to get his head all the way under. I was so into it, I didn’t hear his grandmother yell “He’s waterboarding my grandson.” I didn’t see him tap out from the hand on the opposite side. I did feel him struggle and kick a bit, but I saw no bubbles.

But when I lifted his head out, the gasp for air was evident. And the point was made.

It was over in less then 10 seconds.

The point was made – the desperate desire for air. True desperation. And then the challenge was given … are we that desperate in our living for God? Do we really hunger and thirst for righteousness?

I don’t know how to stress this enough. Too often we don’t really hunger and thirst for righteousness. So today, maybe just a little, we can deepen our hunger – realize the thirst. Today … live for Him in a way you haven’t in a while. Today … hunger and thirst a little bit more.

I dunked his head all the way under. I had to lift him by his belt to get him submerged. I felt some struggle, maybe more than I expected. And I had to leave him there long enough to get my point across.

And I got my point across.

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