This past weekend, I decided to take full advantage of the nice weather and do some much-needed work in the yard. The main task at hand was to open the pool for the summer. I got a decently early enough start that I knew if I stayed on task, I could get it done in one day. So I started by putting hoses on top of the pool to drain off the rain water that had accumulated. Once the majority of that was gone, I started pulling off the cover. I got it most of the way off, and while the remaining water was draining, I put a hose in the pool to top off the water level. I was very proud of my progress!
At this point, I went into the house for a drink of lemonade. On my way back out, I overheard one of my sons say something about changing his socks because he stepped in some water. Didn’t register. I was focused on my task. I headed back out to the yard, and decided to capitalize on my time. I was getting so much accomplished! I felt like a true weekend warrior! I began to move some landscaping blocks to create a better path to the pool while it was filling.
A few minutes later, another one of my sons came outside and told my wife that there was a puddle of water downstairs in their basement bedroom. She told him to tell me, and he did. I responded with “Ok, I’ll check it out in a minute. I just need to finish what I’m doing first.” I continued to move the blocks into place until I was satisfied with the results. My path looked great. I called my wife over to admire my work too. Meanwhile, I forgot about the water.
After about 10 minutes, I went back in to the house and remembered the comments about the water, so I went downstairs to investigate. I walked around the corner into their bedroom to find about an inch or so of water on the floor. I quickly put two and two together and told one of my daughters to run outside and shut off the water faucet. Apparently there was a broken pipe leading to that faucet. She shut it off and I began to clean up the water on the floor. As I was soaking up the water with every towel I could find, we also discovered that it was raining quite nicely from the adjacent bathroom ceiling. The water was coming out of the exhaust fan in the ceiling. I’m pretty sure it’s not supposed to do that. At least, I kept my wits about me. As I was standing in the bathroom watching water fall out of the ceiling, kids asking “WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO??”, I had a laugh. It was just water, but the result of my delayed reaction was a much bigger mess than it could have been.
I’d love to say I learned my lesson. At least I recognized one.
How many times do I do this same thing to God? I can’t count the times I’ve heard the small voice of redirection, but responded with “I’ll get to that as soon as I finish what I’m doing first.” And every time, I’ve had a much bigger mess to clean up because of it. It’s so easy to get caught up in our plans, and to think that what we are doing is what’s important, but we need to recognize when we are being cautioned or redirected. We need to recognize that his plans are more important than ours. My friend, Pastor Corey Jones, said something that has stuck with me for years. I’ve quoted it before, but I need to do it again. He said “Delayed obedience is disobedience.” When God speaks and redirects or cautions us, we need to respond immediately, knowing full well that His plans are more important than ours. His plans are to prosper us, not to harm us!
I’ve got to stop telling God to hang on a sec while I finish what I’m doing before I do what He asks. Just like I should have gone running when my son told me there was water in the basement. I would have had a much smaller mess to clean up if I would have responded to that small voice.
Like I said, I recognize the lesson He was teaching me this past weekend, and it’s a much-needed one. I am sure I’ll pay more attention next time. Hopefully, I’ll react too.
Paying attention to the Voice,