Posts Tagged ‘fixing people’

toilet_2I’m never going to try to fix my own toilet again!  That is not a New Year’s resolution; it is a “why-haven’t-I-learned-this-already” resolution.  I confess: I’ve had the chance to learn this lesson before.

In reality, this last December’s incident was not very dramatic.  The toilet upstairs was just constantly running. That’s an easy fix!  I’ve replaced the little red flapper in toilets many times.  But as I was slipping the corroded flapper-off and the new one on, I broke the arm on the float!

Not to worry! I’ve replaced those too, so off to Home Depot I go in order to fix the damage I’ve caused.  While inside, I succumb to looking at all the gadgets for toilets and make the fatal decision to upgrade the mechanism in the toilet to one without an arm to break.

Resolutely—and proudly confident, I return home and tackle the job, but the line in from the wall spicket does not fit into the new mechanism, so I take the whole tank off the toilet, bend the wall line until it does fit! Brilliant!  I put it all back together, turn the water on, and —  it leaks everywhere!!! Arghhh!

Suddenly it all came back . . . . this minor moment flooded me with flashbacks of my last toilet repair incident fifteen years ago.

That time it was just a cracked toilet tank lid—nothing else, but it was in the small guest bathroom by the front door, so very unimpressive to all of our guests who stopped there to rest.  I told Sherrylee that I’d take care of it. I’m always pretty proud of myself when there is something that I can fix around the house because. . . well, I was an English major, not an engineer—if that explains anything to you.  Nevertheless!  I could do this.

My first minor defeat was learning that you can’t buy just a replacement lid for a toilet tank.  But you can buy just the tank—so I did.

But in spite of my best intentions, the tank did not fit properly, so I took the plunge and bought an entire toilet—not an expensive one. These were extremely tight days for us financially, which is why I was doing all this anyway.

Well, the new toilet looked great—but it did not match the drainage hole in the floor. Oops!

The cracked lid had already cost me $150, so, instead of a plumber, I called a friend to come in and finish this little plumbing job for me–but our house was too old and the toilet was too new, so he got a lot of water on the carpeted floor and worked a long time before he said it was fixed.  Finally!

Except that the old carpet did not fit around the foot of the new stool.  The newly installed toilet sat on bare concrete and frayed carpet edges…not acceptable.

So now we had to go find a new piece of carpet not just to install around the new toilet, but, of course, to cover the whole bathroom. $$$

Laying the carpet and trimming around the toilet was not that difficult to do myself since I have a Ph.D . . . except when it was finished, Sherrylee informed me that the beige in the new carpet no longer matched the beige in the old wallpaper in that bathroom, so the re-carpeting now required that I re-paper that bathroom.

Which I did—and that was the end of that drama! By the final curtain, I had spent three days and more than $300 in order to repair a cracked toilet lid that I had thought would take me one hour and maybe $25.00 at the most!

So I told Sherrylee that I was never going to try to fix the toilet again!  And her reply was, “Good!”

I did have another sobering thought.  I wonder how many people I have tried to fix?

Without the right tools, with embarrassingly  false expectations and unrealistic assumptions, with too little time, and without the necessary knowledge but with the best intentions—I wonder how many people we try to fix?

Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.      Galatians 6:1-3 (NLT)

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