If there’s one good habit that I have formed, it’s drinking water. I love to drink water. I crave water. Besides my coffee, maybe one Coke Zero a day and the occasional Chai Tea latte, water is all I ever drink! I’m trying to encourage my boys to drink more water, too. Not that they would care, but I told them that if they just stopped drinking their sugary drinks and replaced them with water, they would be amazed at how much better they would feel and they would probably even lose weight! Caleb gave me the usual eye roll, but Eli is trying very hard to drink more water.
So that it’s easier to make water our family’s beverage of choice, we purchased a water cooler from Lowe’s. Now, we simply replace the big water bottle on top once it’s empty. This way, at any given time, we have good, cold water to enjoy!
The only “challenge” to having a water cooler is replacing the empty bottle with a full, very heavy water bottle. Of course, I’m not the one challenged; I birthed boys for this kind of thing. So, when the bottle’s empty, I tell the son standing closest to me at the time to replace it. Works for me….
One particular day, Steve & Eli were standing in the kitchen when I mentioned that the water bottle needed to be replaced. Eli takes a deep, exaggerated breath through his nose, pushes his shoulders back, and announces that he will replace it for us. Aww…my baby is growing up….
After a few minutes, Eli comes in the door with the very heavy water bottle somewhat awkwardly positioned on his shoulder. Steve says, “Here buddy, let me help you with that.” But Eli will have none of it. “Dad, I’ve got this.” One heave up, then one fatal slip, and BAM! The water bottle hits the floor, bursts open, and suddenly 8 gallons of water is pouring onto the kitchen floor!
You know that moment when everything seems to be going in slow motion and you just stand for a minute trying to access if what is happening is really happening? I remember looking at Eli, seeing his panicked face, wanting to laugh and cry at the same time nearly frozen until suddenly, Steve’s voice broke the spell; “GET TOWELS QUICK!!!!!”
I was immediately jarred back to my senses as soon as Steve mentioned cleaning up 8 gallons of water with my towels, horrified at the thought of the unending laundry about to ensue. I shouted, “NO! Get the RAINBOW!” Thank You, Lord, for our Rainbow vacuum cleaner….
We sucked up water and emptied the Rainbow and sucked up water and emptied the Rainbow continuing this process until finally the water was gone. We checked to be sure no water was standing behind the fridge or seeping into the walls or hiding in any place that could cause future damage until Steve was finally satisfied. *Whew*
Eli remained in the kitchen during the entire cleaning process. I could tell he felt badly and wanted to help but thought it best to just stay out of the way. Once Eli realized that he was in the clear and and permanent damage had been averted, he spoke up. “Well, the kitchen floor sure is clean.”
Thanks Eli…why don’t you go have you a glass of Coke or something….OUTSIDE.
It was true; my kitchen floor did need a good cleaning. And there’s nothing like spilling 8 gallons of water to motivate me to clean it!
There’s some spiritual truth here that I think bears sharing. While growing as a Christian, here have been areas in my life that I knew I needed to surrender to the Lord, but my flesh stood in the way. My hesitation came from wanting to please myself rather than wanting to completely please my heavenly Father. Rather than getting on my knees to surrender what I knew God was calling me to, I found it easier to neglect that area of need by trying to focus on other things.
But you know, there’s nothing like a spiritual storm or “flood”, if you will, to motivate you to hit your knees. And as much as we hate these hard times in our lives and long to be past them, it’s on the other side that we can look back and see how the Lord used them to “clean us up”. Just like it shouldn’t take an 8 gallon spill to make me clean my floor, it shouldn’t take a storm to draw us to our knees. But what a merciful and loving God we serve! He will allow storms in our lives, all the while beckoning us to look to Him. We can choose to try to figure it out on our own (clean up with towels = new problems to have to clean up) or seek the Father to lead us and help us through (the Rainbow :)).
Jesus is always faithful to help us clean up the messes in our lives, even if we’re the ones who caused them.