A Comedy of Errors
It was a comedy of errors. One problem led to another, to the point of throwing up my hands and gritting my teeth in frustration. It began with an office that was messier than it should have been, thanks to kids hanging out in there playing games and watching shows. To begin the week, I had climbed under the desk to retrieve and empty the trash can. While grabbing the receptacle, I noticed a bubble in the paint on the wall. Thinking this was strange, I looked up to see a large yellow spot on the ceiling. I felt the wall, which was wet, and felt the ceiling, which was also wet, and immediately sprung into action.
I went in the attic with a flashlight and found the leak pretty easily. But seeing the leak and investigating the leak are two different things, so I decided to walk the beams, shimmy on my belly, and get to the leak so I could see more. In my hurry, I was still in my socks, and between the insulation and my socks, my sure footing became a sure fall through the ceiling of my dining room. I caught myself, but not before my rump landed on the trusses and my leg went through to the other side.
I finally made it to the leak, saw what was going on, realized there wasn’t much I could do about it at night, and went downstairs and prayed that God would keep the ceiling of my office from caving in overnight.
Through this experience, I thought of several important applications to our discipleship:
1. Sin is like a leak. It can be a slow drip, but even that small amount of water where water shouldn’t be can cause a lot of damage. The leak can be massive, like it was in the church building, or it can be small like it is in my house, but the damage can be enormous. Sin likewise can be something massive that hurts many. Murder, adultery, and embezzlement can hurt the sinner and even the people around them. They can bring irreparable damage on God’s church. Yet, even sin in “small” forms, like gossip, hatred, lust, and unforgivingness can do just as much damage. Sin, no matter how we categorize it, can create enormous damage and require immense effort to clean up.
2. Reparation takes time. I think, at this point, that I’ve fixed the leak. But the damage is still there and it will take some time to get it all fixed. I have to replace drywall, primer and paint, match textures, replace some insulation, etc. A little leak is easy to stop but to repair the damage takes time. Sin is the same. We can easily stop sinning (this is called repentance), but to fix the damage sometimes takes years. When we get into the business of changing our lives as disciples, get ready to work for the long haul.
3. Sometimes we do more damage than good. When I noticed the leak, I went to investigate, but I did more damage investigating in a hurry than I would have if I had hired a professional to come fix the problem. Now, instead of having one problem, I have two. Likewise, sometimes we try to fix our own sin problems. We try to overcome our guilt by our own power. We try to earn our way back from our problems. With sin, we need to trust the only Pro who can fix our problem. We should turn to Jesus. He will fix our sin in ways we’re not capable.