If you’re a Christian or avid churchgoer (and even if you’re not), you’ve probably heard the story of Jesus turning water into wine. Known as the first miracle performed by Jesus, it has been the topic of many sermons, Bible studies, and even some jokes. I’m not here to repeat the story. You can read it for yourself in John, Chapter 2, but a high level summary goes a little like this:

Jesus was at a wedding and the wine had run out. Jesus being “the man” told the servants to take large, stone pots of water and fill them to the brim. Jesus then turned the water into wine, or “kept the party going” as I’ve heard a comedian say.

A few months ago I was at church at my Pastor’s anniversary. The guest speaker was doing a lot of talking, laying hands, and all of that. But then he got into his message where he told the story of Jesus turning water into wine. I had heard this story several times before, but his angle got my attention. He tied it into how we sometimes forgot what our role is. He said Jesus told the servants to pour the water to the brim and then He turned it into wine. Again, Jesus told the servants to pour the water, and then HE turned it into wine. In other words, they had one job! So often in life, we are so worried about the outcome of things (making wine) when our job is to just pour the water.

The message hit home with me in more ways than one. At this time I was caught up in the stress of self-publishing a book on top of a fulltime job. That stress was being fueled by fear, doubt, and sometimes just feeling totally out of my mind. “Why am I doing this?” I would often ask myself, even though I knew precisely why. So I took the message and incorporated it into nearly my daily life. It became my mantra. Anytime I felt stressed, I’d say, “Chauncey, just pour the water.” If I started feeling doubtful… “Chauncey, just pour the water.” If I wasn’t sure which way to go, I’d remind myself, “Chauncey, just pour the water!”

My job is to do the best I can with this vision that has been placed in my heart. And I take that job very seriously. But beyond that, I’m trusting God to do the rest. And whatever comes of it will be. No matter what religion you believe in, or even if you have no religion at all, you probably have some higher power, spirit, or entity that you believe is bigger than yourself. While we would all like to control every single thing that happens in our lives, we can’t. I find solace in knowing I’m pouring this water while having complete faith that He will turn it into wine.

So the next time you’re feeling stressed, in over your head, or plain old lost, repeat after me: Just pour the water!