While I was out driving one day recently, I saw a sign that said, “Be a fountain. Not a drain.” After I got home, I looked it up and found that it can be attributed to former baseball player and current broadcaster Rex Hudler.
“Fountain” and “drain” stuck with me.
One of the definitions of “fountain” is “a natural flow of ground water.” The word “fountain” is derived from the Latin word fons and it means “source.” Fountains can be described “as the flowing of pressurized water up and out through an aperture from some hidden depth below the earth's surface.”
I don’t want to get overly technical here, mostly because I’m unable to really understand it all, but for a person to be a fountain, he or she needs to be tapped into the source, which allows him or her to overflow from beneath the surface — providing refreshment to those who need it.
A drain, on the other hand, means “deplete of resources.” For a person to be a drain, he or she mostly takes from others, leaving those they are taking from depleted.
I don’t think Hudler was suggesting that there’s never a time to be a drain. If that were the case, nobody would ever seek help or solace in time of need. Instead, I think he was talking about living with intent. Being a fountain should be the natural state for the believer. But during trying times, allowing someone else to be a fountain for a time is a good thing.
For the Christian to be a fountain, we need to be drawing from Jesus, who said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).