Monday, September 25, 2006

Getting the Roots Out

Last week I got an instant message from my wife while I was working. She was doing laundry, one of her most favorite things to do, when while the washer was draining, water suddenly started backing up into the toilet and bathtub. Soap suds and dirty, linty water was cascading out of the bowl, and filling up the tub. So great was the mess that I had to actually leave work a couple hours early to look at what could be causing such a problem.

I dealt with this all week, and we were really starting to wear down our stockpile of clean clothes. Finally, the light at the end of the tunnel was coming into view. Roto-Rooter, the plumbing service, came out Saturday morning. When the guy unscrewed the cap from the clean-out pipe, and shined a flashlight into it, he saw the problem.

The plumber went to his van and retrieved his sewer snake machine, and began rooting out our sewer line-literally! You see, what was causing all of our plumbing woes were tree roots. Our sewer line runs directly under a birch tree in the front yard. All those roots look for moisture to soak up so the tree can have plenty of water. Often, these roots find the needed moisture in the sewer lines that run through our yards, and the small roots find their way in through little cracks. They do this especially during times of drought and dryness. They can really cause a big mess.

I stood their talking with the plumber as he worked, and as we shot the breeze, I noticed the snake bring up a huge clump of roots. Then another. And then another again. Finally, when he could find nothing more, and the line was flowing freely, I paid the man and he went on his way. But I didn't just walk away with clean pipes; I walked away with an object lesson in maintaining our relationship with God. Let's read Galatians 5:16, from the NIV:

"So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature."

You see, just like that sewer line, things can "get into our pipes" spiritually. We are always going to be faced with temptation. Temptation is not a sin, even Jesus was tempted. But our trouble comes when we give in to that temptation. The more we give in to temptation and sin, the easier it becomes to do so. Before we know it, we are finding ourselves totally clogged with the roots of sin. I would say that especially when we allow ourselves to become dry spiritually, we are at risk to getting our hearts clogged up. When we step back from the life -giving Word of God, when we draw from his goodness and mercy less often, when we don't spend time in prayer and communion with the Lord on daily basis, we start to dry out. In our dryness, we look for something to wet us down.

So friends, I just want to encourage you to recognize when sin comes knocking on your door. As enticing as it may seem, shun it. Run from it. Keep feeding your spirit on God's Word, spend your day with Him, in close communication with him. Stay in God's presence. In so doing, you will help keep your heart clear of spiritual roots that will only damage you.

God bless!

1 comment:

ruthrap said...

really good advice, mp, thanks for putting meaning into your plumbing woes! we had the same problem with out basement drain a few years ago!