Exchanging pain for knowledge


Certain incidents in my life give me a lot of traction, they cause me to learn more than just the obvious lesson. This spring, I told you a story of how mutant gophers had chewed through the inch and a half water pipe that we used to water our cattle. The obvious lesson was that I need to control the gophers (done) and also how to repair the pipe which has also been completed. This week I went a little deeper into the incident and found greater meaning.

First off, we have repaired this pipe about three times. Each time we thought we’d fixed it, another problem peaked up from beneath the earth. The third repair occurred when I noticed water rising from a connection. I reached through about twenty inches of very cold water and could feel the pressurized water hitting my hand. I could have waited until the water drained down or make the repair that day. I believe true character comes out in bad times so I always try to be at my best in the worst situations and so decided I would tighten the coupling right there and then. I rely on daily prayer so that was the first club out of the bag. I had been worried that week about the pipe repair which had caused me to be short with my wife, Lisa so I prayed for more patience. I virtually never pray for things or success so instead I also asked God to please help me to understand what lesson He wanted me to learn from this broken water pipe and to please “do it soon.” If prayer doesn’t work for you, pray for something else.

I needed two pipe wrenches and my four wheeler (amazing how many of my stories start with this phrase.) I arrived at the coupling and took off my watch and jacket and plunged my hands into the great, cold water unknown; my hands hurt immediately and I got a little headache. I always say that pain is not necessarily injury-it is just pain. This was just pain so I loosened the coupling with the pipe wrenches then pulled my hands out of the water and threw my jacket over my arms to warm up. I did this about four times during the repair and by the fourth time I had acclimated and was able to keep my hands and arms under water for quite awhile. I jiggled the pipe until it slid into the coupling then tightened it up. I turned the water back on and it somehow did not leak. I was proud, I really was.

I always look up to people who not only can take the pain incurred in living, yet still operate and even fire back at life. This was just a small incident but I stood the pain and was still able to think and complete a repair and that made me feel good. Even better, I prayed for the right things (patience and knowledge) even when it would have been easy to ask for something else or complain to God that life was unfair at that moment. I could have failed in the repair by letting the pain of cold water defeat me just as I could have let the pain of life defeat me by asking God “why me” instead of asking Him for the lesson of life from that particular day.

Anyway, no leaks as of today.

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