The Fountain of Life

[474 words]

If you go to the city of St. Augustine, Florida, you can go to an attraction claiming to be the Fountain of Youth. According to legend, Ponce de Leon landed near this site in the year 1535 and claimed a nearby spring to be a source of perpetual youthfulness based on the physiques of the indigenous people. (Note: there is no historical or archaeological evidence to support any of this, nor is there any mention in any of Ponce de Leon’s writings.) Yet the myth is an attractive one and many have sought (and still seek) a source of being forever young.

While the Bible speaks of the tree of life (Genesis 2:9; Revelation 22:1) and the river of life (Revelation 22:2), the true source of life is God. The psalmist wrote, “For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light” (Psalms 36:9); and, “And He said to me, ‘It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts'” (Revelation 21:6).

Were there to be a real “fountain of youth,” be it in Florida or Timbuktu, what would you pay for access to its waters? How far would you go? What mountain would you not climb to get it? How long would you stand in line to access it? What would you not do? But we know the fountain of youth to be mythical, a fairy tale, nothing more than the desperate imagination of dreamers.

But think about this: even if the fountain of youth were real, it would still be temporal. You would still be subject to all the dangers and trials of this earthly life. Theoretically you could live forever, but you would constantly have to access those waters, and in the meantime your body would be subject to all the diseases, injuries, accidents, and sudden afflictions known to man. Neither pain, nor sorrow, nor frustration, nor disappointment, nor even death would be taken away. Life forever on this earth would be a perpetual existence of misery.

Why don’t we go to the source? God has promised eternal life to those who love Him, serve Him, and obey Him. That eternal existence leaves all the nonsense of this earth behind: we will forever be with Him! “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).

So let’s ask again: what would not do to have eternal life? It is hard to imagine someone walking away from the fountain of youth without drinking of its waters. Are you walking away from the Fountain of Life?

Keith Olbricht
Shady Acres church of Christ
Sikeston, MO

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