MAINTENANCE MONDAY

Keeping everything running smoothly ...

Keeping everything running smoothly

By Lisa Huddleston

Some times Intentional Living requires maintenance, and that is exactly what today has been dedicated to. Yes, I did ride my bike and walk on the treadmill for a while–both maintenance related tasks for my physical person–but that’s not all. Because today is President’s Day and Chuck is home, we have scheduled all sorts of long-needed repairs on our aging house.

To start with, the plumber arrived early this morning to work on several old and leaky toilets. Nothing glamorous about that job, but oh did it need to be taken care of–and it makes me very, very happy to know my toilet will not be falling through the floor and into the basement. That would not only be painful but more than a little awkward. I’m glad and thankful to know I have a firm foundation!

Next, and hopefully very soon, the electrician will arrive to do several  jobs that have needed to be done for years. I can’t even explain the technical situation, but for many years one nook of the house has been without power, and I simply cannot wait to have it restored. I’m tired of running extension cords to my desk lamp, stumbling through the dark when I need to head into the kitchen at night, and worrying that we are all going to one day go up in flames. I will be absolutely delighted to flip the wall switch and have the ceiling light fixture turn on and to sleep without midnight worries over fires. Oh yes, simple joys are best!

And it’s not just the old broken things that we hope to restore. I am also thrilled to be putting a brand spanking new outlet in the butler’s pantry so that I can move the microwave and toaster off of my too-crowded kitchen counters to this discrete location. Yay! I truly can’t wait! Tis a joy to be simple!

And, of course, all this physical maintenance reminds me of my need for spiritual maintenance, as well. I mean there’s always a lesson to be learned and here it is: Sometimes my faith gets worn, my resolve leaks out all over the floor, and I can’t for the life of me turn on the light of truth in my dark and dreary heart. (See yesterday’s post for a prime example.)

When that happens it’s best to call in the experts: spiritual plumbers and electricians to plug my leaks and jump-start the power of my faith. Who are these experts? The Holy Spirit who prays for me when all my words fail, the Word of God that stops the leaking of my resolve by showing me that I am in good company in the flawed and floundering family of God, the Body of Christ revealed in my friends and family who constantly seek to encourage my resolve and build up my faith, and, finally, my Heavenly Father who knows what is best for me and desires that I get it in a timely manner. What trustworthy workers!

Yes, maintenance may not be glamorous, although I tried to tidy up every area where these workmen will be serving us today so that at least it won’t be too nasty. But maintenance is one of the most important ingredients of Intentional Living–especially in the second half of life where so much is prone to needing repairs.

I am thankful for the knowledge of all these experts and for their availability to repair what I cannot do on my own. And thankful also for the reminder that life is a daily readjusting to the challenges that only God knows will come.

“Who knows what tomorrow will bring? Could be most anything. An encouraging word. A buffalo herd. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?” –Claire Lynch

God knows! And for plumbers and electricians and the Holy Spirit and the Word and my brothers and sisters on the journey called life, I am thankful that with some careful, intentional maintenance I can be in good shape to meet if not always conquer the challenges that lie ahead.

(Keep your fingers crossed on that whole power outage thingy–and the wires hopefully uncrossed! This ain’t our first electrical repair rodeo, and I admit to being a little skeptical. Some of those past electricians confessed their inability to help, and others just quietly faded away while promising calls that never came. But, hey, hope springs eternal … and I’m thankful for that, too.)

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