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Monday, August 1, 2011

The Drain

by DeanJ (bio)

I was brushing my teeth the other morning in a bit of a hurry. As I put the tooth paste on my tooth brush, I looked at the sink with a weird sense of dread. I put the lid back on the tooth paste and my wet finger dropped the lid. The feeling in my stomach was akin to when your parents came home early and caught you having a pseudo party – I had never put the stop back in the drain and the lid was swirling to a collision course with the oblivion that was my sink drain. Dramatic, huh?

Sure I had a loving wife who had patiently reminded me to fix it. I’m just a busy man. After work, and kids and dinner, I just need to sit. All that repair work, and garage cleaning can wait. I need some rest. Specifically on my laurels. The day’s events add up. Between work, customers, family, church meetings and prior engagements you need to just relax and turn off your brain.

Luckily for me, I have remembered to fix my spiritual drain stop. How have I done this marvelous work to save my very soul? On accident quite frankly.

Every now and then one of my kids will unknowingly illuminate a brief lapse in judgment. After a long day of playing in the sun, or work or just a day that ends in ‘Y’, I drag myself and my kids to bed. I tuck them in, read them a story, sleepwalk through their routine and rush out their door so I can finally have a moment to myself. And then they remind me that I forgot to say their prayers with them.

After dragging everyone in the house from various activities, wrangling the kids to the dinner table like some group of ADD riddled gnomes, having dinner being served just barely on time while remembering if we fed the baby or not before we put him down for a nap, everyone is starving and digging into dinner. Then one of the little ones will ask if he can say the prayer.

While looking at the bills for the month, I might have wondered aloud, just once, how much extra money we would have if we didn’t have to pay tithing. That’s when my wife will smile and point out that there is never enough money until we pay our tithing.

I have sat down to watch a movie, and the teenager will walk in the room and ask what we are watching. I will inform her that I am watching a movie that is rated ‘R’ and she should leave. The agonizing comment she makes about how we aren’t supposed to watch those movies as she walks away ruins any chance of finishing the movie.

These are the little spiritual drain stops littered about my home. We are on a giant see-saw. When one of us is down, the others pick them up. When the majority of our family is on one side, you have no choice but to slide on over with them. It’s the product of living in a gospel-filled home. The kids wouldn’t remember their prayers at night or at dinner if we hadn’t taught them that. We wouldn’t recognize the future blessings of tithing if we hadn’t already lived through and received them. The teenager criticizing my movie choice? Probably equal parts living the commandments and sticking it to the man.

By teaching our family what is right, we save ourselves. The little friendly reminders from the kids every now and then to stay on the right path is a reflection of our marriage and family that I love to gaze at.

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