Thursday, January 31, 2008

A Different Perspective

I was checking a friend's blog when I noticed he had run into circumstances similar to what I had run into a week or two ago. We both faced what seemed to be insurmountable problems with the structure of our homes. In his case he lost electricity because, to generalize the problem, the breaker box was fried,. In my case our bathroom flooded because the main drainage pipe out of our house was clogged with a tree root. Two major problems that happen to two guys unexpectedly. Both problems presumably come with a high price to resolve.

I would like to say that we both reacted the same way, but I can't lie even on the internet. As I read his story I saw grace and patience in abundance. I read has he put his money where his mouth is and had faith that God would take care of him and his family. I marveled as he saw God's hand working through the whole problem, even when I'm sure he was getting frustrated. Then I wondered why I didn't have that same faith and insight.

It isn't as though I couldn't have had it. I'm getting ahead of myself though. Journey back to last Labor Day. My sister-in-law and her family were coming to town to visit and stay with us. Not an hour after they got here we started having problems with water in the bathroom floor. My wife had taken a shower and when she got out there was two inches of water in the floor. We didn't think anything of it until we ran the load of towels we used to clean up that mess and another one appeared. Our plumbing wasn't at a total loss, we could still use sinks and the toilet. However the shower and laundry were out. My sister-in-law's family checked into a hotel and we made due for the weekend. We were fortunate to find a plumber to come out on Labor Day and take a look at the problem. He ran a snake down our drain vent and cleared the line. We thought it might have been a tree root, but we weren't sure where the line ran through the yard and the plumber was confident we wouldn't have any problems for awhile. Two weeks ago it happened again. So I called the plumber and worked from home while he ran the snake through the line again. Three days later it happened again. The plumber was pretty sure the line would have to be replaced, but he had me call MSD(Metropolitan Sewer District) to make sure the problem was not on their end of the line. They came out, marked the line as being under our driveway, and told me the problem was around 35 feet in, but they only handle the first 25 feet. So I called the plumber, he came out and cut through the driveway. That was Monday.

Tuesday the plumber returned with a Bobcat and an assistant and started digging straight down. Turns out the line that was there was our water line. So the plumber called to have the rest of the utilities marked in our yard. Wednesday he came out and started digging across the front of our yard parallel to the public sidewalk until he found the line, then he dug back down the line, and replaced the clay pipe with PVC. Twice after that we had some additional issues that cause out bathroom to flood both times. The problem has been fixed on a long term yet temporary basis for now.

Two years ago, maybe even as recent as a year ago this would have been devastating. There would have been much stress and many arguments throughout the week this was happening. There was still stress and still arguments, but not as many. The point is despite the fact I can work from home during these emergencies and despite that I knew God was in control of the situation, I didn't rely on Him as much as I could have. I had so much to be grateful for in this trial. I have a house, someone was there to help us with the bill, and there is no extensive damage as a result of the flooding. If I would've prayed more and focused on the blessings I had, much like my friend is doing, the arguments and stress could have been avoided.

Having said that I'm not trying to beat myself up over the situation. It's reading stories like this that inspire me. It gives me hope that as I continually walk with God, He will change my heart so that in the future I will stop and know that He is Lord.