Help Us Help Others

Help Us Help Others
Chaplaincy Clark County

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Cleaning a pool is a lot like cleaning one's life

Good morning,
I pray the day is finding you well.

Labor Day Weekend, a weekend spent with family.

Labor Day Weekend is a weekend that, just like many american's Laurie and I spend with family. Laurie's family in Minnesota is some 2000 miles away; My parents are some 250 miles away; our kids spent the weekend at Camp Collins, one set of kids could not get the weekend off so they were out of the "getting together" mix.

Lucky for us we have another set of family right here in Vancouver, we have our YMCA family.

Labor Day Weekend is also a time when we at our YMCA close the facility for a much needed touchup; we drain the pool, paint, move the weight equipment and clean, we go through the locker rooms with a deep clean...I think you get the picture that we use this time to create the best space for the people that call our YMCA home.

The "Y" family is a good family, we worry about one another, we cry together, we laugh together, we work together.

My job was scraping.

More aptly I was given the task of scraping the calcium buildup off the tiles in the pool.

I quickly found that this was not an easy task; calcium is hard, it gets harder than a rock. Well that is not exactly right, it is as hard as rock. It is a mineral after all minerals a rocks, so I guess I should say that calcium is as hard as a rock.

So there I am scraping calcium off the tiles in the pool, and I start thinking.

I start to think about all those milk commercials, "Calcium builds strong bones." I laugh as I lay on my stomach reaching over the side of the pool scraping. Strong bones, and nearly impossible to scrape off a tile.

Eddie, our Executive Director is scraping tiles too. We start to talk about how there has to be a better way.

I am not a chemist so I really do not know if calcium is soluble or if it is insoluble simply suspended in liquid; it does not really matter. I do know that it does come into the pool in minute form and then continues to bond to the tile and itself until it becomes this hard rocky thing on the tiles in the pool.

If we could figure out some preventative maintenance and get to the buildup before it becomes a buildup, getting rid of the calcium would be much quicker and easier.

I am laying there scraping.

I start to think about "sin."

I start to think how "sin" and calcium buildup are related; no I am not calling calcium sinful, nor am I calling calcium buildup sinful. I am laying there scraping calcium, thinking about the similarity between "sin" and calcium buildup.

Sin starts small. Sin starts with a thought. A decision is made and sin becomes an action. If left uncorrected this “sin” can then become imbedded in a person's life. The longer a person allows a sinful action to be part of their life, the harder it becomes to remove this "sin." If left long enough this "sin" can become as hard to remove as calcium is to scrape off tile.

We usually only get to see someone else's sin after there has been quite a buildup. By the time "sin" becomes visible to others, it has been there a while and is pretty hard to remove.

What is "sin?"

Sin is an old archers term for simply missing the bullseye, missing the mark, as they say.

Sin is simple an action that is not in the middle of God’s will, missing the mark, so to speak.

We like to talk about all the different kinds of "sin" in people's lives; I guess that keeps us from looking at our own.

I do not know how you know if you are sinning or not, this is how I know.

When a thought comes into my head, and I have many thoughts. I simply ask Jesus, "Would you approve?" If He says yes, I know I am in the middle of His will. If He says, "No." Then I know that I am not in the middle of His will.

If He says, "No." and I do it anyway, I had better be ready to scrape some "sin buildup" off.

I know two things after spending Labor Day Weekend with my "Y" family. I love them even more, and I really do not like scraping off buildup.

I wonder what the world would look like if everyone would just ask Christ if He would approve or not before we all did something.

Heaven on Earth comes to mind.

Blessings,