Before we moved into our new home, we were told there was no sprinkler system for the yards. This area of Idaho is desert. Without irrigation, the rich land would produce no vegetables. All water for the farms and lawns is supplied by hundreds of miles of canals, which are fed from the rivers and dams. In newer neighborhoods, the sprinkler systems are fed from these canals. In the older areas, the yards are flooded.
This was a new concept to me. I’d never heard of it before. A few days after we moved in, my new neighbor, Mike, dropped by to say hello and explain the system to me.
“Mike,” he said. “In front, you have two pipes in the ground. There’s another in back. Open the valves at the bottom of the pipes. Behind the bush, by my fence, you will find a long, metal rod with a fixing on the end. When you want to flood, make sure your valves are open to your yard, take that key, walk up the street and around the corner. There’s a pipe in the ground there. That’s the main valve for the whole street. Open the valve and the water will come out of the pipes in your yard. Flood the whole area about two inches deep.”
As he talked, we walked up the street, so he could show me the main valve. “When you’re done,” he explained further, “go back up the street and shut the main valve off, and then the valves in your yard.”
He put his hand on my shoulder. “Now this is important, Mike.” He stared into my eyes. “Don’t reverse the process. Always make sure your yard valves are on before you turn the main valve on. Make sure you turn the main valve off before you turn your yard ones off. If you do it wrong, the water pressure could blow out your pipes. The neighbor across the street did that. It cost then almost eighteen thousand dollars to have it fixed.”
A little shaken by this information, I shook Mike’s hand and thanked him.The last thing I wanted to do was burst a pipe and lose a lot of money.
A few days later, the lawn looked parched. I found the three valves in my yard and opened them, got the key for the main valve from Mike’s fence, walked up the street, and tentatively turned it on. I sighed with relieve when I turned the corner and saw the water flowing from the pipes and spreading across my yard. I didn’t burst the pipes.
For the next hour I walked around the yards in my bare feet, checking to see if the water had covered all areas. The cool water felt nice. In some areas, mud oozed between my toes. It reminded me of playing in puddles when I was a child.
I stood on the back deck and watched the pipe in the far right corner of the yard spew water into the air. The water slowly crept across the yard and into the flowerbeds. The birds sang. The water flowed. It was like I had my own private waterfall.
As the water rose, I thought, This has got to be the most archaic system of watering I have ever seen. Who ever heard of flooding your yard once a week? The flood system is very old. I admired the ingenuity of those who build the system more than seventy years ago, but the new sprinkler systems are so much better.
It occurred to me. This is the same way I water my spiritual needs. I go to church at Christmas, Easter, and to the rare Sunday service. I flood my needs a couple times a year, just like I now have to flood my yard once a week. From now on, I’m going to read a little scripture every day. A daily sprinkle is much better than a flood a few times a year.