Recently I looked out from the top of Mount Inkerman - a fine sight at this time of year, harvest completed and a carpet of green plant and ratoon cane.
By contrast, there is the dry grass in the foreground and the reminder that, economically, the Burdekin is "built on liquid gold" -the abundant supply of underground water. The "gold", of course, comes at a cost, but it is there - the economic lifeblood of the region.
A woman of Samaria came to draw water at the village well. A bucket had to be lowered on a rope to receive its fill of precious water so that the woman's jar could be filled and taken back to the village. She had a bad reputation. That's why she came alone in the heat of the day.
With a simple request for a drink of water, Jesus engaged her in conversation, finally saying to her, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water" (John 4.10). Can it be that there is something better, more long-lasting, more satisfying than this water I continually come to draw? "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life" (vv. 13,14).
Thank God for the "liquid gold"! But the Burdekin community needs "more than liquid gold". We need the offered "water of life" - the grace and love of God. Otherwise as a community we will be parched and dry.
Prayer: Eternal Lord, we thank you for the underground water that contributes so strongly to our economic prosperity.  We acknowledge that too often we "run dry " because we ignore your offer of the water of life. Help us, as leaders in our community!, to trust you, to make decisions with wisdom and integrity so that we will see a greening of the lives of all who reside here and a blessing to all who visit. We pray this in Jesus' name, Amen.

© Peter J. Blackburn, Burdekin Shire Council devotions, 30 November 2004