Friday, March 12, 2010

Hot Water, Anyone?

Next time you find yourself in hot water, you might ask, “God, is this my time to be a tea bag?”

© Marek Uliasz 2006

Okay, I know this has probably never happened to any of you (well, of course not), but let me ask, anyway: Have you ever forgotten to pay a bill? I mean, like really forgotten? Like big time forgotten? Like “they” turned off one of your utilities because you forgot to pay the bill? (And, yes, I know it takes real effort because of the many notices that come in the mail -- and now E-mail, even -- but, trust me, it can be done!)

I once accidentally allowed the gas at Casa St. Michael to be shut off. (Note the word accidentally – no one actually plans to do such a thing.) As I explained to the good folks at Entex, “I was the only person in hot water at my house last night!”

To make a long story short, at that time an Entex office was located in La Porte (where I was teaching at the high school), so that fact, combined with the wonderful concept of “teacher conference periods,” enabled me to get the gas turned back on before the day was out. (I love small towns!) However, let me also say that the “situation” did cause me to take a long hard look at my bill-paying system, or rather, my need for one. I am also proud to say that I have not had a utility disconnected since. (Okay, so I’m not counting the telephone, but that’s another story.)

Even if you are not as disorganized and absent-minded as I am, chances are you, too, find yourself in hot water, so to speak, every once in a while. How do you react when that happens? Do you boil over or steep? If I’m honest, I have to admit that I’ve done both. I also have to say that boiling over creates one big mess while steeping creates refreshment. (Comfort in a cup!)

When we read through the Old Testament (what some readers call The Old Covenant), we see that from time to time, God allowed His people, the Israelites, to get themselves into hot water. Often times, Israel chose to boil over, leaving itself scorched and barren. I hope we can look at Israel ‘s example and learn from their poor choices. God doesn’t want our mistakes to leave us permanently parched or dried out. God ’s desire for us always is to allow our hot-water-situations to bring about change in our lives: Repentance, renewal, and refreshment. A powerful brew, don’t you agree?

The next time you find yourself in hot water, ask yourself what you want to come out of that situation. As for me, I’m choose to “pay up” and then “keep the change.” Repentance. Renewal. Refreshment. Yup, it’s a powerful brew – life giving, in fact, if we choose to drink up.


  1. Help me Lord to turn into a teabag...and quickly!
    Great analogy!

  2. I've been quite an assortment of tea bags this whole Lent season.

    Thanks for writing this just for me. I do find when I give it to him for his purpose...I don't get my way but he gets the right to rule over the situation. And, he does bring about a brew we weren't expecting but that makes sense if we step back and look.

    Girl, you know I've paid bills late too.

  3. Great metaphor! I'm not usually the boiling over type...but it happens occasionally. Doesn't feel good either.

  4. I'm terrible about letting things (like bills) slip through the cracks! I guess I'm the tea bag a lot; just never thought of it that way.

  5. What a blessing this post was for me today.
    I LOVED what you said aboout so many things, but I giggled when I read about your high school conference period.
    If not for my conference period, I don't think I could have managed my life- teaching for 32 years.

    I loved this-


    I also loved what the promise of redemption and renewal is. e can use our hot messes to change.