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October 31, 2005

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Let Out the Water, Take Out the Garbage, And Do Some Repairs
By: Dr. Skip Myers
Edgefielddaily.com columnist
web posted October 31, 2005

It never ends. It’s there all the time and it continually seems to be growing with each passing day. There are times I feel as though I am drowning in a sea of garbage. Every time I pass through the kitchen, the garbage can is overflowing and there are four people in our house—three of whom have never acquired the necessary skills needed to get the bag to the can. (Yes, I will pay for that comment if any of my girls read this.)

I tried getting bigger and bigger garbage cans but all that did was allow the garbage in the bottom of the bag to sit long enough to become somewhat aromatic. Besides, my wife objected to a 30-gallon can in the middle of the kitchen. No matter what I tried, the garbage had to be taken care of on a regular basis.

Routine maintenance is a part of life. There are certain things that demand our periodic attention. If we neglect these items, they have a way of reminding us: an engine locks up; gutters fall down; dust bunnies take over; pipes clog. If you are like me, you have experienced at least one of these harsh reminders that it is time to pay that certain item some overdue attention.

Taking the opportunity to do routine maintenance hit home with me as I was driving past an area lake. I was startled to see the water level so low given the amount of rain we had experienced. My passenger told me that the lake level is lowered so that people can do repairs on their docks and boathouses. That made sense. I guess it is rather difficult to drive a nail and hold your breath at the same time.

I thought about the way we live our lives. The pace of life is so fast and demanding. I see in the eyes of so many people the need to give some attention to routine maintenance. Now, I’m not referring necessarily to losing weight or managing cholesterol. I’m talking about spiritual maintenance. Taking some time and giving some attention to you and the Lord. You were created by God and in creating you, He installed this need as standard equipment.

Most of us never bring the water level down enough to see where the work needs to be done. We leave the level too high, too long, and then, something simply falls down. With each addition to our lives, whether it is another activity, meeting, or pressure, the level rises. The higher the level , the harder it is to recognize the underlying decay occurring.

The Lord built in a weekly “letting out the water” day called the Sabbath. We observe it on Sundays in recognition of the resurrection. We are told in the Ten Commandments, found in Exodus 20, to “remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.”  Simply put, we are to set aside (to make it holy, dedicated to the Lord) some time to rest both our lives and our spirits. The Lord intended for us to take a day to rest from the world.  In created the world, He did it and yet, we feel as though we can “maintain” without it.
How do you “let the water out?” I hear many people say that they need time away from activity including the church in order to unwind and repair. In a daily devotional book entitled, Experiencing God Day by Day, this observation was made.  If you find that Christianity exhausts you, draining you of your energy, then you are practicing religion rather than enjoying a relationship. Jesus said that a relationship with Him would bring rest to your soul. Your walk with the Lord will not make you weary; it will invigorate you, restore your strength, and energize your life.
Read Matthew 11:28-30. The key is not running away from the Lord and church in order to let the water out. He can shelter us with His love and strength. As we rest upon Him and focus upon the Lord, we will find the water level dropping and can easily see where repairs are needed. And the wonderful thing is that the Lord will also oversee any needed repairs.
Stop letting the water rise and the garbage pile up. Find some Sabbath time to dedicate to Him and let the water out and start making repairs. Tools available every Sunday. I’ll see you in His House.

Dr. Myers is Pastor of Smiths Station Baptist Church, Smiths Station Alabama and a former Youth Minister of Sweetwater Baptist Church (1981-1986)
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