What a morning… I was at the home of a member of my congregation this morning to help her with a clogged drain in the kitchen sink. It was pretty disgusting. Water just started coming up from the drain when she turned the water on. It stunk and had all sorts of food particles in it. It’s one of those two sink jobs, so when she would run the disposal, the drain in the other sink would shoot up water like the Old Faithful Geyser. Okay, maybe it wasn’t that bad, but water was shooting up.
So, first things first, I started plunging. That did nothing but take the water from one sink, and send it to the other sink. So then I tried what I will now call the “double plunge” in which I took two plungers and tried to plunge both drains at the same time. Still nothing, but maybe a chuckle from the woman watching me. Then I decided to plunge one sink to empty out the other sink, then use the other plunger as a cap in the empty sink (since when I tried it with the actual cap, the cap just blew off). I thought I had an angel working with me as the plunger in the empty sink started to plunge all on its own as I plunged the drain in the sink full of water…nope, it was the law of plunging physics in action as when I plunged it one hard time, the other plunger shot out of the sink (I’m pretty sure an angel would have been able to hold the plunger).
I then decided to keep the one sink dry by plunging the other sink full, and then dumped Drano kitchen crystals in what I thought was the “empty drain”. After following the directions and releasing the plunger, all that I just dumped in the drain came up and I was back to square one with two sinks half full of nasty old kitchen water.
At this time, I decided to head under the sink to begin to take apart pipes. This would probably be a good time to mention that I know absolutely nothing about plumbing (as if you haven’t guessed that already). I undo the pipes and the sinks drain out their water and various food particles. I figured I’d have a clog full of nasty that I would have to clean out…but nope, nothing. The pipe was empty, not terribly clean, but empty enough to know that water could flow through it. So I connect it all together again, run the water and after a couple of seconds it starts to back up again. Needless to say, I’m pretty irritated an hour and a half into this job, but I’m pretty sure I have a good understanding of what needs to be done.
I drain out the sinks again by disconnecting the pipes, put them all back together and use the handy Drano crystals again, this time in what I know is an empty drain. After two doses and one quick plunge, it was all good and the lady had her sink back.
What did I learn from all this? Well, while I was doing all this, I was really thinking, “I should be doing ‘real’ ministry right now. You know, sitting at my desk doing prep work for any of my upcoming teachings or sermons; maybe heading to a nursing home and visiting with some folks there; possibly walking down the street and sharing my faith; how about heading over to the local food pantry to see if I could be of assistance there, etc., etc., etc.” (That was a short list, by the way, of things that pastors do who are in full-time ministry in case you ever wondered.) I was then reminded of a message I heard from a guy named Josh McDowell at a youth pastor’s conference I attended about 8 years ago.
In the middle of the message he said, “Your family should never come before your ministry.” I’m surprised no one fainted or died from the lack of oxygen from the one large collected gasp of the roughly 5,000 people in the auditorium. Why the response? Every pastor knows the order of priority in his/her life is God, then family and then ministry. We all thought we were seeing the end of Josh McDowell and his ministry. Then he said, “Your family should be your number one ministry.” ‘Nuff said…point made!
Wait! What?!?! How did you learn that lesson?
Oops, my bad…forgot to tell you, the congregation member at the beginning of the story is my wife.