Those that know me best know that I appear to continually be doing laundry. I'm not sure if that is a sign I'm extremely clean or extremely dirty. Though the taunting may come from friends that I never stop doing laundry, I really don't do it quite as much as it seems. I try to whip it all out on a Saturday, but when life gets too busy, my chore leaks over into the work week causing the "one load a day " syndrome to slow me down. This very thing happened to me a few weeks ago.
I had worked a long day, came home, finished dinner and decided to sit down and watch a movie while my final load of laundry was doing its thing. I loaded up the washer, started it up and headed to the den to wrap up in my blanket while Whirlpool did my work. I hadn't been relaxed for long when I heard the oddest noise. It didn't sound like the washer running, but the shower running. Since I lived alone I deduced that either a stranger had snuck in my house and was showering or there was something seriously wrong going on in the laundry room. As much as a stranger in my shower would have freaked me out, I think I'd taken that over what I found.
My laundry room is located between my kitchen and garage. As I walked toward the laundry room to check things out, right at the door I was greeted with a flood of water. Oh happy day, my washer is overflowing. I slopped through the water (thankfully it wasn't sewer water, which I have encountered in my laundry room before. One word: Ewww) to turn things off and check out the situation. The washer wasn't draining and being the non-mechanically inclined girl that I am, I had no idea why. So what's a single girl to do? Call Dad and ask him how I should troubleshoot. After some wise direction, I sopped up the water with a ka-zillion towels and my mop and inspected the drains to see what I could see. Moving a washer full of water and soaked clothes is like moving a mountain. I felt very Hulk-ish that I could budge it at all. Nothing I could see seemed awry, so step one was to clean up the mess and call the plumber to first check for plugs somewhere. If there weren't any plugs, chances were good I was on the road to purchasing a new washer. Granted my washer is 11 years old, but in my world those things should last for at least 30 years.
Two days later the very nice plumber came to check things out. I always try to act very confident about things when repairmen come calling. I figure if I play too dumb, they'll take me for an easy target to sell me ocean front property in Tennessee. Of course, this could be why no single, cute repairmen have ever asked for my digits. I appear to independent and strong. I probably should twirl my curls more or at least play up my sweet southern voice. But I digress. I explained to Mr. Plumber what had happened, what I had done and where things stood at the moment. He was very nice and as he drained the washer it didn't leak...like it was some magic plumber Midas touch that made Mr. Whirlpool too frightened to act up in front of a professional. After checking all the various drains and ensuring they were fine, he surmised that this was a fluke. He informed me that older washing machines were equipped with lint traps, similar to dryers. But, a few years ago they quit including lint traps in washers and sometimes a plug of lint will get stuck in the pipe drain and requiring a good flush to clear. Since he was able to run my washer through two cycles without a drip of a leak, he was pretty certain it wasn't the washer. I was relieved. And happy to pay the plumber's fee to not have to pay for a new washer. I've run the machine quite a few times since without any flood faux pas.
After the slight interruption to my life was over, I began to reflect on the experience. I see every experience as a great time for learning. Even in a flooded laundry room, I ask God, "Ok, what are You trying to teach me?" I was reminded that as I go through my life, if I don't have a good flow of the Living Water through my spiritual veins, I'll get plugged up. When I'm not spending time in prayer, in His Word and seeking His Will for my life, it's like the icky lint that got holed up in my pipe drain. That lint is like my sin that keeps the water from cleansing me and refreshing me...it just flows out and I get no benefit. Just a mess to clean up. Thankfully, His Living Water is refreshing and can cleanse me if I'll let Him really flow through me. From there, my heart is what overflows...in a very good way. Though our sufferings here are simply light afflictions, may my heart overflow with Living Water and be refreshed so that others may see Him.
"For as the sufferings of Christ overflow to us, so our comfort overflows through Christ." - 2 Corinthians 1:5