After enjoying our backyard waterfall for over a year, some serious tweaking came due. Despite our treating the water, the heat of summer caused a lot of algae to grow in the bottom of the pond, and quite a bit of debris had fallen in, like leaves and dust, slowing down the flow noticeably. And worst of all, when I constructed it, no rocks were placed around the sides of the pond, and the black liner showed. Not many Sierra streams reveal plastic lining.
For the first step, all the rocks at the top edges of the pond were taken off, and I crafted a union of tubing and PVC fittings to connect the pump to a garden hose to drain the swamp. Next came a trip to the local rock store to get some slate to line the sides, followed by cleaning the swamp, or mucking out all the dirt and algae in the bottom. Some foundation bricks were laid at the bottom for the slate to rest on, the slate was cut and fitted into place.
Then the rocks were repositioned at the top edge of the pond to hide any sign of the lining, that garden hose was reversed to fill the pond, and we now have a clean, functioning, attractive waterfall and pond. Well, at least for a bit over a year.
A few weeks back, using some small changes on the waterfall as an example, we talked about how our lives sometimes need minor tweaks. Nothing major, nothing life threatening, but some improvements. Other times, like this case, we need major tweaks. Home Improvement—Jesus Style. We realize we can’t continue as we had been without major damage.
So, we revamp. Whatever it takes. Maybe a metaphorical sledge hammer or power saw. Sometimes these changes sneak up and build slowly; sometimes they arrive like a 9.0 earthquake or Cat 5 hurricane. We may see them ourselves, or a loving friend may make us aware. But change we must.
Jesus encouraged that in Revelation 2-3, with his letters to seven churches. He typically praised them for following, then gave them their remodel orders. Ephesus lost their initial passion. Smyrna would soon face significant suffering, and needed endurance. Pergamum allowed false teaching and Thyatira let sexual immorality continue. Sardis became dead, needing a resurrection, and Philadelphia needed to hold on despite its weakness. Laodicea had grown lukewarm.
Do any of those areas suggest some major changes? Or does this topic whisper another area equally in need of major tweaking? I encourage you—make them. When you do, you’ll discover the Spirit flows clean and fresh in your life. Well worth the work.
Kick Starting the Application
Which of the churches in Revelation most grabs you as you examine your life? Does another area cry out for change? Can you identify why this has become an issue? Does anything keep you from starting your soul improvement? Will you do something concrete this week to move it along?