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Making a Big Job Look Easy


By the time one reaches my age, he surely knows how things go whenever there is a household chore that must be tackled, such as a plumbing issue, a mechanical problem, or a matter of "routine" maintenance.


Experience has taught me that whenever I mention such a task to someone and he says, "Oh, that's simple; a half-hour job at most," I know that it will be a half day--or longer--in my hands. And it'll require multiple trips to the local hardware or DIY box store. It will require my buying one or more tools that I don't currently have or extra parts to replace those I break or lose. It might even wind up requiring that I hire a pro to come in and fix not only the original problem but also the mess I've made of the whole thing. In short, it means it will cost me a lot of money.


In previous such cases, I've tended to hire the expert from the start to avoid those very complications and expenses, thereby saving money and headaches in the long run.

This past week, such a task fell my lot. After shaving and while putting away my razor, I inadvertently dropped the plastic cover that protects the blades on the razor, and it bounced once on the edge of the sink and disappeared down the drain. I didn't want it to get stuck and eventually clog the drain, so I was left with only two options: remove the trap and retrieve the guard myself or call a plumber to do it for me.


Not wanting to pay an arm and a leg for a plumber to do such a "simple" thing and think me to be a complete moron, and against my better experience-based judgment, I decided to do it myself.


I cleared my Monday to-do list, mentally preparing myself for the job to take me all day. I could envision having trouble getting the connections loose. My arthritic wrists don't permit me to exert much force in turning something. Even opening jar lids presents a problem. I could also foresee having persistent and irreparable leaks after I retrieved that little plastic drain clogger. And--worst case scenario--I saw myself running to the DYI store to buy a replacement trap or maybe even a new sink as a result of my predictable ineptitude.


Hoping to prevent, or at least minimize, any of those possibilities, I did what any self-respecting 21st-century man would do. I googled the problem to see if a YouTube video was available to show me step-by-step how to do the job. All the while, I knew that whatever I might find would show a different kind of trap than mine and demonstrate clearly that the job was so simple that any monkey could do it blindfolded in under a minute.


Sure enough, the video I found was just over one minute in length, and the narrator, a woman no less, walked me through each of the twelve easy steps.

I got my pipe wrench and pliers and headed to the bathroom determined to replicate the video experience on my own sink trap. But first I had to remove everything from under the sink, a plethora of junk accumulated over the nineteen years we've lived in the house. I found things I didn't even know I had, things I had lost and bought replacements for because I couldn't find the ones I had, and even some things I didn't know the identity or use of. And I placed them all to the side on the floor in an orderly line. I hoped to replace them all in the same order and location from which I'd removed them. That took only about 10 minutes. (The video hadn't included that in the time it would require to complete the job.)


Next, I got a drip bucket and positioned it under the trap. I didn't want any messes when I got the connection loose.


I tested the upper connection by hand first to see how tight it was. I just knew that my wrists wouldn't be strong enough and was ready to reach for the pipe wrench when, much to my amazement, the connection turned at my slight exertion.


I checked the lower connection in the same manner, and it, too, turned easily. And water began to spurt--not into the bucket but all over the floor of the cabinet. I knew I had been deceived into over-confidence by the easily loosened connections. I steeled myself for what was to happen next.


Removing the trap, I dumped its contents into the bucket and heard a readily recognized clink of plastic. It was the razor guard.


I cleaned the accumulated slimy and smelly gunk from the trap and prepared to reconnect it. I knew that this was where the nightmare surely would begin. Although I had a little trouble getting the threads to line up on the connections, they did eventually go on. I tightened them as firmly as my arthritis-plagued wrists allowed.


I guess it just goes to show that sometimes such tasks are relatively easy--even for the fearful to tackle successfully. But I'm not quite confident enough to tackle that brake job!


Isn't this just the way it is with most of our worries? Most of us will have to admit that most of the things we worry so much about never come to pass. We worry for nothing. For nothing.

God tells us in Philippians 4:6-7, "Be careful [anxious] for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God, and the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."


A YouTube video can be helpful, but resting in the care of the Almighty God is even better when we consider the whole of our lives. Doing so will remove our tendency to worry so much about things, especially those things that are out of our hands or ability to control.

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