See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:16-17
Call me Mr. Fix It. I love to fix things and I love to be the hero. No matter what the problem, no matter near or far, no matter what. Back when Blake and Sarah were living in Savanah, Georgia courtesy of the United States Army, she let us know her vacuum had a broken belt. Well, instantly my hero genes kicked in. It didn’t matter that she was eleven hours away…it only mattered that my baby girl had a problem, and she asked her Mr. Fix It dad to solve the problem. First a couple of side notes. Blake, her husband, is an able Mr. Fix It guy in his own right.
Second, Sarah asked me to go by our Walmart and get a replacement belt. I assumed that she assumed that was the problem. So, by now you may be asking, “Oh, they don’t have Walmart’s in Georgia?” Well, actually they do, but somehow it made sense for us to go get one and take it to Georgia. Maybe they are just better here. Well, shoot that thang! I happened to remember that we had a vacuum like hers (or maybe we had given the vacuum to her) and I had a spare belt laying around. Cha-Ching! Thank you, sir, and keep the change.
We get to Georgia and the day after our arrival the time to fix the vacuum was at hand. First, I dislodged the screws from the top and bottom and removed the cover. It was then I had the first ah-ha moment. There naked before the world was a 100% not broken belt. So, I said to Sarah, “Hey girl, the belt isn’t broken.” It was then that Sarah said, “Well, it wouldn’t work.” All of a sudden, the great victory of finding a spare belt rapidly deflated. You see, as an amateur Mrs. Fix It, she had misdiagnosed the problem. I plugged in the vacuum and, of course, it fired right up. Then Sarah said the real problem was that it wasn’t picking up the dirt. And that’s when it got interesting.
Assisted by my son-in-law Blake, I began a close examination of the vacuum. It soon became apparent that it was clogged up. Now if you are not familiar with clogged vacuums there are at least three classes of clogs. There is the “partial clog”, the “hmmm, this is serious” clog, and then there is the “clog of Biblical proportions”. Since there was absolutely no suction, we knew this was definitely not a “partial clog”. We soon discovered we had the “mother of all clogs”. Upon examination we found, and I’m not kidding, three golf balls, two match box cars, and six inches of impacted debris. I was sure we had found the problem.
Well, my assistant and I carefully removed the trio of golf balls and the two match box cars. Finally, we began to dig, pull, tug and poke at the six inches of debris. Three days later (ok, not really but it seemed that long) the hose was finally clear. At that point, we emptied the debris catcher thing, cleaned the filter, plugged it in, and it fired right up. The results were incredible! In fact, before we could stop it, it sucked the carpet off the floor and a small section of the sub-flooring. (Ok, that part just isn’t true, but I needed to beef up the story.)
Soon we were high-fiving and celebrating the ultimate vacuum cleaner rescue. Mr. Fix It and his able assistant saved the day. Now believe it or not there is moral to this story—besides the obvious one that says don’t suck up three golf balls and two match box cars with your house vacuum cleaner. The moral is this–when something is wrong don’t automatically assume you know the answer. Sarah just assumed the belt was broken and it wasn’t. And, even with a house full of boys, never in her wildest imagination, could she believe that her vacuum had consumed three golf balls and a couple of cars. I could just see the boys having such a good time with their new game of “sucking up” golf balls and match box cars…like “how many can we get in there?” Boys.
And what is true in vacuum repairs can also be true in our lives. When things just aren’t clicking in your life, look closely because it may not be what you think. Ephesians 5:15-16 says, “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” In other words, we need to watch where we vacuum—what we pick up, and where we step. Being wise is knowing what to do and then doing it. Remember the old saying, “A ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?” Well, trust me it, is so true.
Remember, when life goes south, take your time as you figure out the problem. Too often we want to treat the symptoms and don’t want to address the real problem. All the belts in the world weren’t going to get our vacuum going because what seemed like the logical answer was not the problem at all. If you are a Jesus follower, ask Him and He will point you in the right direction. Life can get pretty clogged up, but don’t let the frustrations get to you. I bet Blake and I took a rest after fixing the problem and maybe you need to take a rest too…in Him. After all, He’s got this. Bro. Dewayne