May 23, 2024
  • 3:18 pm Several area seniors receive AgTexas scholarships
  • 3:17 pm 8 area students receive Five Area Connect Scholarships
  • 3:14 pm Muleshoe City Council considers childcare facility tax exemption
  • 3:14 pm This is what the Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge Expansion means for landowners
  • 3:13 pm Muleshoe Art Association holds last meeting of the year

I have often found myself in need of a clever quotation and am happy to report that the internet usually makes such a search relatively simple.

If one is looking for a pithy turn of phrase, a quick search for G.K. Chesterton quotes will dig up gold with very little difficult mining needed at all.

Want words wonderfully crafted to make us think about faith and promote digging more deeply into the foundational truths of the Christian faith and how to live it out in our lives? My own “go to” list of such authors is so lengthy that I hesitate even to begin to share it. I immediately think of names like C.S. Lewis and George MacDonald. Some of my favorite wordsmiths in this category are even still alive. Something good can always be found from the pen of Philip Yancey, Max Lucado, and many more.

But my most recent search was a completely new experience. I was looking for some words from practitioners of a very honorable and essential trade. If you need a brain surgeon, you probably need one very badly. But I suggest that in more usual and everyday situations, most of us might more likely find ourselves in urgent need of a plumber.

My search leads me to believe that most plumbers are far too busy with their very useful business to feel a need or have leisure to write much about it, though I bet most of them have some great stories to tell. From a financial standpoint, too, practicing such an essential trade is a more reasonable pursuit than lining up words. Very few folks dial the phone in a feverish rush: “Quick! I’ve got a problem at the house, and I need an English major to write a 1000-word essay to stuff into a leaking sink drain!”

All of this aside, I think you’ll likely search in vain for quotations from famous plumbers. Most are too wise to desire to be famous and too busy with their truly exhausting work and crazy calls-at-all-hours schedules to spend a lot of time on other pursuits.

So, I changed my search parameters a bit and quickly discovered—no surprise—that plumbing practitioners are by no means lacking in good-humored witticisms.

“A good flush beats a full house.”

“We’ll repair what your husband fixed.”

“Professional, affordable, and we always leave the seat down.”

“If it weren’t for us, you’d have no place to go.”

“Plumbers have pipe dreams.”

“We’re number one in the number two business.” (Sorry.)

What, you may ask, has sent you exploring the drains in this direction?

Well, if I were a pagan, though I’d not be at church, I’d say that at ours we’ve evidently offended the gods of plumbing. Not being a pagan, I simply believe that the warranty (if there ever was one) on our old plumbing in our old church building has evidently expired, and it’s time to pay the piper. (Note the subtle reference to pipes.) This or that little leak, a stoppage and over-flowage, a trap or two that have quit trapping water, and even the discovery of a mysterious drain all add up to be no fun. Could it be worse? Oh, yes, but let’s not talk about such.  

But the plumbing siege has brought up in my mind some realities that are always true but worth mentioning.

I’m reminded that in our communities, we are blessed when we have people whose very different talents and expertise we all need. 

I’m reminded of how much genuine respect I have for anyone who is a master of a trade and probably has forgotten more about it than I will ever know. I honor that.

And I’m particularly thankful to have friends in my community who capably ply all sorts of trades and professions but who do so with good will and integrity. I may not like the situation (leaky pipes are just one example), but I respect my friends whose genuine expertise is matched only by their character. I may not be happy about the situation that’s forced my call, but I know they’ll tell me the truth, be fair with me, and do very well the job I need done.

The Apostle Paul told us long ago, “Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Colossians 3:17). What a sweet blessing to know so many folks, many friends, who, whatever their job, do exactly that and honor their Lord. That makes me happy to honor them, and I do.

Curtis Shelburne

Muleshoe Journal Contributor


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