Who knows what it means to prime a pump?

Prime the pump

A hand pump, like we had on our back porch

Another little poem’s up on the Christian Poets website, “Thought, Deed, and Motive.” I thank John H. for his TFR plug of the last one. No poem was planned for today, but sometimes they just pop out. A statement here, a rhythmic line there, and off goes the mind to register its flow.

• Its’ called priming the pump. Probably nobody under 50 knows what that means, has ever poured the last bit of precious water into a hand pump to draw the cool liquid from the depths of the cistern.

For me, priming the pump is reading broadly, wildly, even. Finding a phrase to match the mood, to strike the match to catch a flame.

Oops, I switched metaphors on you. But what’s a metaphor for, if not to use and drop and swap?

• Let me get on my soapbox for a minute. Unlike churches, religious institutions are often self-perpetuating, with their “development” departments to raise funds and provide a constant stream of income. That’s why they’re especially dangerous, with their tendency to stray from their original purpose and compromise their commitment to truth. I’ve found them to be like presidential candidates: they show lots of promise, but ultimately disappoint.

• The older I get, the more I believe that the key to the church’s health and growth is contained in the one-on-one discipleship and the personal interaction within a congregation. The influence of religious institutions is, often as not, more detrimental to the church than it is positive, not least in its professionalization of the ministry.

• Stepping down off the soapbox, it has rained every day here for the last, oh, month, maybe. Or more. I love rain, but I’m beginning to understand how Noah felt. At least, in part, since I’m not building an ark.

• Best I recall, the last several American presidential elections were touted as being crucial to the continued success of the American dream, or some such phraseology. This one is no exception. The 2012 elections are a “critical historical tipping point,” says one good man. Now, let’s set aside for the moment that elections tend to come in cycles (but still show trends). And let us not forget the sovereignty of God, who rules over the affairs of men (while still allowing them plenty of leeway in their free will). I think I tend to agree with that phrase.

Assuming it’s true, however, Republicans have made an early start at lousing it up, if they have in mind to pull the country back from a socialist bent. If. Often a big word, that if, isn’t it?

• I doubt I have a thoroughly political bone in my body, although, like the World Cup every four years, I watch the presidential goings-on with interest. I don’t keep up with the soccer teams between those quadrennial points of emotion. Nor with politics. Through an accident of geography and a choice of political philosophy, my favorite team consistently does better in the games than my candidates, if I have one, do in the elections.

• Do you tire quickly of politics? Me, too. Because I know, unlike some, that salvation does not come by government. Nor prosperity. Though government (and perhaps even involvement in such) can do much to hinder both. Now there’s a spiritual thought to ponder.

#american-elections, #church-growth, #poetry, #religious-institutions, #republican-party