Readers in Ontario will know what I mean when I say that this has been a wet summer. It has rained almost every day here for much of the season. I have wished on several occasions that we could send most of this rain to our friends in British Columbia (whose firefighters are dealing with wildfires) and Saskatchewan (whose farmers are dealing with drought conditions). But we can’t. We can only pray for them.
These nearly-quotidian doses of precipitation have been a real challenge for many families in the community where I live. Already living with the reality of a high water table, many families’ basements have been severely damaged by the overabundance of rain, needing a place to escape. Thankfully, ours hasn’t been that bad, but it has required us to be vigilant in listening to the sump pump work.
Because, sometimes, it can’t keep up.
We have tried a solution that we thought to be permanent, but wasn’t, and a couple of others that were temporary. But a good, permanent solution was needed.
That solution came yesterday, with the installation of two sump pumps that will keep the ground water at bay. Now, short of a power outage, we defy the rain to overflow from our sump pit!
Living in a church-owned home, while we have input into these decisions, they are not ours to make. So we are grateful for a decisive Board of Managers, which seeks to take action quickly in order to preserve the integrity of the house, not to mention our personal effects.
The learning experience in this, for me, is an important one: don’t just state the problem, look for solutions. Often, if a little thing goes wrong in our house, I will simply fix it myself. But I don’t have a degree in sump pump-ology; this one was a bit past me. But thankfully, our team members know people who have experience in this area, and once we got the right people on the job, it was fixed, and we can rest confident that the problem is taken care of. We can also rest quietly, knowing that the problem has been taken care of with pumps that make less noise!
When you face a problem, whether in your own life or in your church or any other organization to which you belong, don’t just state the problem, look for solutions. And lean on others who have experience in the field. It’s a constructive way to move forward.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3.5, NLT).
“Your father has a proposal to share with you,” said my mother, sheepishly, one day last month when my parents, my wife and I met together in a coffee shop.
“We’d like to go camping with you,” said Dad.
He had given this considerable thought, obviously, and was going to look into renting a motor home. My wife suggested that it might be cheaper to rent a Kamping Kabin at a KOA campground.
After some research, the combination of available dates for us, my parents, and the various campgrounds I called left us with the opportunity to spend two nights at the KOA near Barrie, Ontario, where Mom and Dad would have a Kamping Kabin that was suitably air-conditioned. (It even had satellite TV, which borders on ‘glamping’!)
The accommodations were secondary, though, to the time spent together, which we all enjoyed most. My wife and I are used to camping in our little camper van with just the two of us, so sharing meals, conversations, and campfires with my parents was different, but reminiscent of my childhood, when we took our 16-foot Holiday trailer to all sorts of Ontario campgrounds, often with family or friends.
Those were fun times. We are all older now, and health concerns challenge my parents on a daily basis. Despite that, or maybe because of it, I was very touched that they wanted to participate in the camping ritual one more time. Rather than relive old memories, though, what we did was more important: we created new memories.
It’s never too late to create new memories with your loved ones. Those memories last a lifetime.
“Honour your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you” (Exodus 20.12, NLT).