Sunday, January 19, 2014

Taking Care of the Pipes

Christmas vacation was almost over. Kids were supposed to go back to school on Monday, January 6. None of that happened, though because a record-breaking cold front was moving in through our part of the country. 

Rachel and I stayed with my parents during that time which meant that my grandmother's house, where we live, was empty. I usually keep the thermostat turned down believing that it is more economical to put on extra clothes or cuddle up in a blanket than to turn up the heat. There is some truth in that, I think. 

Image found here
Unfortunately, there are limits to this way of thinking. I didn't turn the heat up in anticipation of the extra frigid weather as I should have. The cold front hit on Monday. My nephew went in the house to check things out on Wednesday and reported that the pipes were frozen. At least, no water was running through the taps in the house. Fortunately, no water was pouring out into the house from a burst water pipe, either. Things appeared to be OK, and we didn't get back out right away to deal with the situation. (I know, that was dumb.)

Eventually, ice built up in one place in the garage where a plastic pipe went into a metal fitting. As the ice expanded, it forced the plastic pipe upward. Eventually, although the pipe didn't burst, water did begin spraying out from that location. I was the one who found that chilly scenario. I got pretty well soaked with freezing cold water before I found the turn-off valve and stopped the flow. 

This problem might not have happened in the first place had I been staying in the house at the time. Had I been there, I would have noticed that the cold was getting well beyond the "put on another sweater and grab another blanket stage". I would have turned up the heat and made sure the taps were running. But since no one was paying attention to what was happening there, the problem got bigger until it demanded attention. 

Image found here
It occurs to me that we are much like this in our lives. When our relationships—with God, with family, with friends, with co-workers—are not attended to, major problems can develop. Communication is blocked. Pressure builds up. Stresses and strains either "burst through the pipes" or push things out of alignment. There is potential for major damage.

I was fortunate that the damaged pipe was in the garage, and in an area where the water did not cause any major damage. I learned a good lesson through experience this about the importance of attending to the house during periods of extreme cold. Am I also attentive in my relationships, or do I, through neglect, allow blockages, pressures, and strains to cause damage that could have been prevented?

We find instruction all through God's Word about how to attend to those relationships. Is it possible that sometimes, we are just too preoccupied, or even lazy to practice the "one anothers" of Scripture? I don't know about you, but I don't want to find my relationships with those I love damaged because I allowed "frozen pipes" to burst.

What about you? You may be great about taking care of the house in which you live. How are you at taking care of your own relational "pipes"?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Any thoughts on this post? I would love to hear from you.

Gadgets By Spice Up Your Blog