Everyone knows the meaning of “a watched pot never boils,” right? Well, I’ve repurposed the saying to fit my current situation: “a watched pipe never breaks!” Today marks the eleventh consecutive day of a frozen pipe in my home heating circuit. If you missed that story, pop over and read Don’t Put All Your Energy Capsules in One Basket, for the complete frame of reference.
For the last three consecutive nights, I have camped out on the leather couch, sleeping in the living room area. This is a mandatory homeowner requirement, based on the overnight negative temperatures, for keeping the house at a balmy 59° F—extreme sarcasm, sorry. At regular intervals, my iPhone wakes me with a familiar chime. That’s my cue to check the temperatures around the house, ensure that no heaters have caught our house on fire, and to inspect the garage ceiling and walls for busted water pipes. The last three nights can be categorized as anything but restful.
If I were completing a self-assessment, I’d say that I’m a fairly patient man—I used to have a larger supply of the stuff, prior to becoming a father. In most circumstances, I can find myself saying “let’s just wait and see what happens” or “don’t get yourself all riled up, quite yet”—today is quickly becoming Not-One-Of-Those-Days.
Patience is not simply the ability to wait – it’s how we behave while we’re waiting ~ Joyce Meyer
It’s Sunday morning, and my family is gone. They’ve ventured into the cold, to attend the morning church service. Our family attends the same service, each week, unless there is a great reason to not attend, such as: the death of a dog, alien invasion, an explosion in the front yard, or a 60-year old furnace that seems to be showing signs of onset dementia.
I nominate myself to stay at home this morning, and babysit the furnace.
Eleven days of running between three and five electric spacers heaters, is enough to stretch a man’s patience thin, like waxed dental floss. I wish I were able to attend the service with them, but the home comes first. Not only do I have to maintain the heat on the living level, I also need to monitor the temperature in the garage to ensure that more pipes do not freeze and lock up, compounding our current situation.
While they are all away, I opt to clean around the house—an activity that benefits the cleanliness of our home, while generating a significant amount of body heat—including the epicenter of messy madness, the kitchen. Clear the counters, unload/load the dishwasher, branch into the dining room to organize; because someone’s got to do the work, eventually, and it might as well be me.
Standing at the sink, I notice the Galileo thermometer on the marble window sill. The presence of retro-funk equipment in our house is just one of the perks of being wed to a scientist. The colorful grouping of glass bulbs is very photogenic, and I find my camera to capture an image. The archaic device is more than decorative, it’s actually a very functional tool. Based on the room conditions, one of the glass bulbs labeled with temperature tags will sink to the bottom of the cylinder. Read the tag, that’s the temperature in the room. The 60-something bulb is slammed against the bottom of the vessel. I doubt that this room is registering, at the most, around 61° F.
Galileo got it wrong. The earth does not revolve around the sun. It revolves around you and has been doing so for decades. At least, this is the model you are using. ~ Srikumar Rao
Lost in my housework, I am able to recover a reasonable state of patience, and I realize that life doesn’t revolve around me, or around my current circumstances, and it’s not all about me. I return to the mindset of faith, a dependence upon God, that He will work everything out for me.
Matthew 6:25-34—Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
While I may need to watch the electric heaters and maintain my home, God will figure out the rest. Maybe that will mean that my pipes will eventually bust, spewing water all over my garage; maybe the issue will become resolved, on it’s own, or within the magical realm of divine intervention. Even though my prayers for the last week and a half fall into the Divine Intervention Without Incident category, it’s really not my place to worry.
Forecasted temperatures for the next three days fall between 34° and 55° F. Something is going to happen, I just don’t know what that something will be. But do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.