Home repairs. They are never done! As soon as you get your list ready and start working on something, you find two more things to add to the list. By the time you’re done with that project, you will add another five! Such is the life of a home owner. Being home for the back half of last week I had several opportunities to walk around the property and think about things that needed some attention. The more I looked, the more I saw that needed doing! Of course, that makes a trip to the Hardware store a necessity.
I had good reasons to go to the hardware store. I needed some screw for the fence I had been building on the side of my house that separates the front and back yards. It was a great project, and with the help of my kids, I was able to see it through to completion! I’m pretty proud of how it turned out. I also had a lamp post that needed a new light bulb, a shed that needed a new light bulb, and a toilet that needed a new tank flapper.
So, Saturday morning I got the toilet fixed. Not much of a task. A $4 fix that takes about 2.5 minutes and that includes letting the tank fill a few times to make sure the little flapper seats properly. I crossed that one off, tossed the trash and moved on. I wanted to get the lamp bulb swapped out before I went back to work on the fence.
I pulled the top off the lamp and make the quick bulb replacement. Before buttoning things up, I decided to go ahead and clean the glass so my new bulb could shine as intended. Once I had everything clean, polished, and back in place I went to turn on the switch.
Nothing. No Light. At all. Hmmmm…
So, I pulled everything back apart and gave everything a cursory glance to make sure that there was nothing in the socket affecting the light bulb. Then I tested the lightbulb to make sure it worked. Then I checked to be sure that I had the bulb inserted properly and not cross-threaded. Everything led me to the belief that I had done things properly. Still, no light. This was going to take longer than I had planned.
So, I pulled the socket out and there was the problem. It was an old lamp, and the socket had corroded so the juice was no longer flowing! Now I face a dilemma. Back to the hardware store or apply my skills of “adapting” things to my needs? Well, I knew I had some of the parts necessary to make the lamp work, but the sticky part was going to be getting the new socket to stay put in the lamp base. I needed a nice, flexible piece of rubber that would fit around the socket but still fit in the hole at the lamp’s base.
I couldn’t think of any way I was going to avoid a trip back to town, and then it hit me. I had just thrown a toilet flapper in the trash, and that might be the exact thing I needed. So, I did some digging through the trash and found my prize. A little work with a knife and we were in business. If you didn’t know I had been playing in the trash to find parts, you would think it was the real deal! What was once a piece of trash that didn’t even have a purpose in a toilet anymore was now serving a whole new purpose.
Sometimes we are the same way. There are things in our lives that didn’t go the way they should have. We made mistakes and were left damaged. We might even have felt like we were not good for anything anymore – just something to throw in the trash. But we’re not!
No matter the choices we might have made in the past, we have a potential to be something. We might not be able to do it in ourselves, and it might take a little refining or trimming, but if we allow ourselves to be taken and worked on by the One who knows us and sees a bigger, better plan, we can be given a new opportunity! We can go from a dark place to a new one where we can shine in a way we never dreamed! I’m not trying to make this little toilet flapper sound like a Disney success movie or anything, but I am trying to point out that there are always things that we might feel leave us disqualified for God’s service. There might be things we can’t do, but our past doesn’t mean we can’t do SOMETHING! God will take what we bring Him, and if we are willing, He will use it and restore our joy in serving Him.
I’ve thought in the past that I have messed things up to the point that God might be done with me, but the more I read His Word, I see His love for me and His desire to see me improve my reliance on Him. Through honest assessment of myself and a willingness to be remade by Him, I see new opportunities, and I have been given a stronger, Relentless desire to know Him and to point others to Him. I want people to see God as I see Him, and to feel the joy of knowing Him not only as Savior and Lord, but also as Sustainer and Friend.
Relentless Growth is the result of my being taken from the toilet of my own making and being repurposed for the task of sharing His light with others!