Lessons Learned From A Broken Water Pipe – July 10, 2014
Wow, what a day. Since I was playing nursemaid to my wife (the job is OK, I don’t like the little outfits she wants me to wear), I thought I would check a few things off the “honey-do list.” While fixing a tiny occasional drip from a toilet, I was putting the “finishing” touches (just tighten a little more), then SNAP! A heavy stream of water hits me in the face. What do you do when you are being “showered” with a wet-cool-crisis?
* Call Those Nearby
– Did I mention I was playing nursemaid to my wife? She JUST had surgery (gallbladder removed – opps, HIPAA violation) with sore stitches and all, she came running when I called – no YELLED – HELP!
– There are many I could have called. I have GREAT friends! They would have dropped EVERYTHING and come a running. But I was being showered with a GREAT amount of water right NOW, not later.
– The Biblical principle, “a friend near is better than a brother far away” (Pro 27:10, my paraphrase).
– The Lesson: We need people. We need each other. We need the church. We need a community of fellow believers. I need you. You need me.
– The Application: We must cultivate relationships. If the only time we call on people is when we need to address our crisis, we will be known as a “user” even an “abuser!”
* Call To Action
– A plan was needed. NOW! We had to get the water off and stop the water from doing damage. While I was heading out to shut the water off from the house, Kim was building laundry dams of first dirty clothes/towels, then CLEAN clothes/towels. Did I mention Kim just had surgery? 🙂
– Know BEFORE the crisis comes. Do YOU know where to turn the water off to the house? I did. Do you have a tool handy to do just that? I did.
– It’s the principle “Noah Didn’t Wait Until it Started Raining to Build an Ark.”
– Now the water is off and the water is contained and controlled. Next?
* Call Those Who Know.
– My next thought, “Who Ya Gonna Call?” (Reminiscent of the 1984 movie Ghostbusters.) Did I mention, the pipe was broken IN THE WALL! Not being confident I still posses “MacGyver Genes” (since “tighten a little more” didn’t seem to help), I need to call someone quickly.
– Call Those Who Know Someone, Who Know Someone, etc.
– I called my friend Kenneth Couch (longtime home builder) and Gene Gillum (he directed maintenance for the International Office of the COGOP for MANY years). Thru their contacts, I was able to call someone while my hands were still moist.
* Call Those Who Will Respond
– I am convinced in the fact that God is not so much interested in your ability as He is in your availability. There may have been many professional I could have called but will the call back? Will they respond in a timely manner? If they call, will they come? When? This is Thursday. It’s 1:00 p.m. If they will respond, how soon?
– I called on someone, with one phone call who said, “We will be there within 30 minutes.” I was blown away. Sure enough, they here very quickly. The attraction may have been my willingness to just get the break secured to have the water back on, even if we have to delay the repair.
– How do you respond? I’d like to think I respond quickly. I was so thankful for the quick response.
– Lightly, a biblical principles come to mind:
Jeremiah 7:13 (New International Version) “…declares the LORD, I spoke to you again and again, but you did not listen; I called you, but you did not answer.”
Zechariah 7:13 (New International Version) “‘When I called, they did not listen; so when they called, I would not listen,’ says the LORD Almighty.”
* Call Those Who Are Open to New Technology
– After surveying the situation and the options were given, we went with the less intrusive option and one that may expedite us beyond this present crises.
– After committing the project, an obstacle arose that may have caused us to choose a different option, one that was MUCH more intrusive. My new “best friend” believed that we wouldn’t be able to cut into the wall as needed to make the needed repairs.
– I disappeared and reappeared within a two-minute period with a saw that could reach in the wall and cut the very items that needed attention. He said he had never seem anything like that but was very open to giving it a shot. It worked great! @HarborFreight
(Sometimes you can get it as cheap as $15.)
(Right now they have FREE items until the end of the month.)
– In the building of the tower of babel, it is believed by some that they were using new technology in building.
Genesis 11:3 (KJV) And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter.
– Later, the verse reads:
Genesis 11:6 (KJV) And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.
– Many stories could be considered but just think about David going from using a sling to a sword:
1 Samuel 17:50 (KJV) So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David.
1 Samuel 17:51 (KJV) Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled.
* Call Those Who Are Compassionate
– I don’t know. Perhaps our discussion of his forty years in the plumbing business and my forty years in ministry? Perhaps my mentioning that I had been without regular income for a year? Perhaps, just because, he is a nice guy, I felt what he charged was VERY reasonable for someone to come with ONE phone call and have it repaired within an hour.
– We compared notes and talked about how rough it can be to have a small business. Kim was heartbroken when she had to close her shop that was opened to aid and support ministry. (I told her I’m the only one that can have a non-profit ministry.) 🙂
* Call to Mind What You Do Not Miss Until It’s Gone
– It was the great theologian Joni Mitchell that penned:
“Don’t it Always Seem to Go
That You Don’t Know What You’ve Got till It’s Gone?”
– Imagine how many times I turned the water on – but forget – Oh yes, We have NO water. Though we were without only for an hour, SO MANY TIMES I reached for what was ALWAYS there – but we were without.
– How many blessings do we forget about and do not even notice, until it’s gone. For some of those blessings, we may even develop an attitude of expectation to the point of demanding these blessings in the name of believing we deserve this.
– We are SO blessed!
– What may need to be taken away BEFORE you are truly thankful? I say we are smarter than that.
– This is a good time to remember the difference between Grace & Mercy:
– Grace is when get what you DO NOT deserve.
“I’m going to heaven because of the grace of God.”
“I’m forgiven because of the grace of God.”
– Mercy is different. Mercy is when do not get what you DO deserve.
“I’m NOT going to hell, because of the mercy of God.”
“I’m NOT going to be punished for other things, because of the mercy of God.”
– So “In every thing give thanks…” (1 Thessalonians 5:18 KJV). Some will argue, “It doesn’t say FOR everything,” but it does! “Giving thanks always FOR all things” (Ephesians 5:20 KJV).
While I still struggle with “Thank you Lord for a broken pipe!!!!”
I can say …
Thank you Lord for all of your blessings and these lessons learned (and reminded).
(Shout out to Keith Collom’s Plumbing, 685 Freewill Rd NW, Cleveland, TN 37312 423.479.4101. Thank you!)