Those clogged up drains.

I can’t think of a more effective way to learn how your plumbing system works than to have it stop working. I used to think that your food disposal was a magic tunnel that just took all of the food away. I honestly never thought about where it went. I even remember thinking once, “I wonder where all this is going…..hmm, oh well.” It seems rather intuitive (once you actually stop to think about it) that the disposal is connected to the rest of your plumbing system, right? This lends itself to the idea that if one component of the system stops working, the rest does as well. Let me tell you how this looked for us this weekend: old lettuce and beans rising to a new and disgusting life from the drain in our bathtub. Never have I been so glad that I did not recently eat fish.

At first, it didn’t seem so bad. But then, water from our toilets started to clog, sinks weren’t draining, and water (I don’t know if it’s the same water, I’ve since chosen not to think about it) started to come up from the drain in our bathroom, giving us about an inch of “I don’t want to know where it came from” grossness on our floor.

It seemed that by cooking a lot more at home, going out less, and shoving a whole bunch of food scraps in our disposal resulted in clogged up drains, unresolved food remains, and a large, giant mess for us this weekend. We weren’t dealing with our food scraps well, and as a result, our pipes didn’t know what to do all the excess garbage they were taking in.

Can you guess where all this is going? Yup. Enemas and colonics.

I’m probably kidding (but we are talking about plumbing systems, aren’t we?).

 

Its all taken care of now, we’re utilizing our compost pile, being kind to our drains, thanking God that we have clean, running water in our house on a daily basis.

It seems that when you don’t dispose of things well the first time, they come back bigger, grosser, and hairier the second (and third and fourth, according to our tub drain). I realized that I was doing this this weekend as well, not just with our food disposal, but with myself.

I realized a few days ago that something about the past few months had left me feeling ineffective and exhausted. I wasn’t disposing of my junk effectively, and I wasn’t receiving grace from God either.

And heres the thing. When we’re in relationships with other people, whether they’re just friends, working relationships, your marriage, your larger community, we’re going to have to deal with junk. We’re very imperfect people, loving each other in imperfect ways, and because we live in fallen world, we’re never going to feel like our emotional bank account balance is full (though some days are better than others).

I’ve had to take the past few days and ask to be restored. I had to ask God to help me deal with my everyday debris better, and not just ‘shove it all down the disposal,’ because unfortunately, as I learned this weekend, somethings going to inevitably get clogged up when you do it that way, and it looks a lot worse coming back up.

So, the easy way can be taken, junk swallowed with a big ol’ swig of wine, but for me, it slowly, surely, clogged up my heart until things didn’t have anywhere else to go.

Fortunately, draino exists. You can take a drain snake to your pipes and unclog them. You can dispose of things more carefully, and not carelessly shove things down your disposal. For me, it looks like a cup of coffee and an early morning spent with God. Thats not how it looks for everyone, but for me, to hear that even Jesus was rejected (from his own people!), he felt pain, he felt drained, tired, weary, it lets me know I’m not alone. I can come to him with everything that I have and he’ll restore me. Circumstances may not change, but your heart does. And mine did.

Matthew 11:28-30

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”