We called in a friend who inspects houses and asked him to check ours and let us know if he saw work that needed to be done. We’re not planning to sell, but we want to take proper care of the house God has given us, and if we ever do sell, we don’t want to pass along problems to the next owners. Our friend noticed dry rot around a skylight over our master bath and some questionable beams and a corner board on the lower deck. It took us weeks to find a contractor willing to look at the problem because it was “too small a job”. The skylight area was repaired quickly and without difficulty, but when the carpenters began removing the questionable areas on the lower deck, more problems showed up. What started out to be a small job is turning into a major renovation. The deck is now gone, the lower level stripped back to support beams.
It all looked so good from the outside that we had no idea of the rot hidden beneath.
This can be true of life, too.
I’ve been reading about idols and how easily something good can turn into a thing to worship: a career, a family, a denomination, a political party, anything. I know in my head only God is worthy of worship, but my heart can be so easily divided. Sometimes even serving God can become an idol.
The carpenter keeps showing us new problem areas and giving us a choice. “We can stop here, but I think there may be another problem over there.” Dry rot is bacteria, those tiny little unseen organisms that nibble away. If not removed, they’ll just grow. The carpenter grimaces when he says how much the added material is going to cost, and because we’re being worked into a very busy contractor’s schedule, we’re paying by the hour. The question is do we ignore the rot that may be there and will cause more problems in the future, or “bite the bullet” and rip it all out now?
This is true of life, isn’t it? Leave a little sin and it grows.
So I ask myself: Is there anything that has become more important to me than God? Of course not, I say, but then ask: Where do I spend most of my time? What puts me on the defensive? What rouses my anger? What keeps me awake at night? Who do I run to in times of joy or despair? Am I putting my hope in someone or something without recognizing this is idolatry? Every question has to do with the condition of my heart, mind and soul.
So — while listening to the screech of crowbars and slam of discarded wood outside my downstairs office, I’m being reminded I have work to do, too. I’ve called upon God to be my inspector, and God is the carpenter, too. In His strength, and with His guidance, I can get to work ripping the dry rot out of my life.