need_future141A few days back I completed a project called “40 Days of Water”.

From March 1st – April 9th about 45 folks in our faith community did our best to forgo all beverages except for water.

Our aim was 3 fold:

1. To practice discipline. Something I definitely need to keep working on.  Especially when it comes to food and beverages.

2. To identify with the billions of folks who don’t have the plentiful choices available to us every day.

3. To redirect our resources. We challenged ourselves to keep track of the money we would have spent on other drinks and then to donate it to Blood Water Mission to help provide clean drinking water for folks in Africa who don’t have any.

Now that I’m a few days removed from it, here are some thoughts about the experience:

  • The first week was really hard. I had headaches the first few days and noticed a huge dip in my energy levels in the early afternoons.  I hated that.
  • I didn’t miss my usual bevs of choice- or dislike drinking water- as much as I expected. I’ve always been a “I like flavor in my drinks” guy.  Turns out water wasn’t so bad after all.
  • I realized that there are TONS of beverage choices out there. And that life somehow got easier by simply ordering water.
  • I had to overcome the food pairing thing. It was strange to order pizza and water….or BBQ and water.
  • I found out that I like being free. The more distance I got from the caffeine jones, the sillier it seemed to “need” any specific drink to function.
  • I upped my sugar intake too much. I love sweet tea.  Since I wasn’t getting my usual dose of sugar that way, I compensated by having more sweets.  This may explain why I didn’t loose any weight even though I cut out lots of  liquid calories.
  • I’ll probably drink a lot more water than I did before. I’m thinking that as a general rule of thumb, I’ll do water all day- and have something else at one of my mealtimes.
  • With a little self-denial we can make a huge difference in people’s lives. My (and Jen’s) 40 day experiment resulted in a donation that will enable a couple of hundred people to have clean drinking water- and better health- for the next year.  All together, our church of a hundred adults will give over 2700 people a year’s worth of clean water. Crazy!

Thanks to Kevin and Gayle for the opportunity, and to all of you who were kind enough to check in and encourage me over the process.