Saturday, January 15, 2011

Out of Steam

I am a seamstress. The most important piece of equipment in my workshop is my sewing machine . . . or rather all four of them. The second most important piece is my Rowenta Pressure Iron and Steamer. I cannot stress how important my Rowenta is to my daily production. It is in "ready mode" from early morning until the shop lights go out in the evening.

NOTHING aggravates me more than being nearly finished with a project when I start hearing that dreaded sound. . . that waning sound . . . the steady burst of hot steam fizzling into a weak phfffftt.

Today I found myself yelling at my iron. "I JUST FILLED YOU UP YESTERDAY!!!" (Understand that a tank of water should last two full days, if not longer. Yesterday was a short work day, and it wasn't even noon when I started hearing the phffftt.)


So why all the fuss? First of all, it changes my plan. My work stops. It takes time for the iron to cool so I can unscrew the cap, release the pressure, then refill the reservoir. Then there is more waiting until the water heats up enough to produce that glorious steam.

For a period of time, the vessel is unusable.

The need to refill the tank on a daily basis is a definite indication of a problem, but there are other signs that should not be ignored.  I have two Rowenta's, and I know the warnings when something is amiss.  Inside the cap is a small green gasket.  It is such a tiny but important member of this iron.  When the gasket is new and working properly, the steam is stored until ready for use.  It can be directly exactly as the operator intends, providing the right burst when, where, and how it is needed to perfect the job at hand. Over time, the gasket becomes worn.  The steam starts to escape, starting out slowly and hardly noticeable until that unmistakable HISS. . . . SPIT. . . . SWOOSH! . . . . and the steam explodes from the vessel with an uncontrollable burst!  Wasted.  Unusable equipment in need of repair.

This morning, in the midst of my ranting, I thought how much I am like my Rowenta iron.  I was created for a purpose.  I can hear my Heavenly Father say, "I paid a high price for you."

In my body there is little member, this tongue of mine.  When it is controlled, my words are safely stored and ready for the Master's use. . . ready to be directed where, when, and how they are needed.  Like silver boxes storing words of encouragement, kindness, and love. 

When this tongue is controlled, the Scriptures say it is powerful enough to steer an ocean liner.  When uncontrolled, it can burn down an entire forest with one spark! (James 3).  Such a small member.  Such power it holds.

How I dread those times when my spirit is worn and the phffftt begins! 

 It is almost unnoticeable at first.  Hissing out discontentment, spitting out criticism, spewing out ugliness. As soon as I am filled, I prematurely become empty and unusable.   Without intervention . . .without the proverbial trip to the Master's Fix-It Shop for restoration, I may very well blow a gasket!

Psalm 19:14
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer

1 comment:

Jeanie McMahon said...

Very Inspiring and thoughtful. You write with such deapt of soul and heart. I find God's nudges in my life are often when I am being annoyed at someone else's behavior and suddenly a mirror appears to reflex back to me, asking " See, can't you just open your eyes and see?Dear One"