The Way of the Plumber
By Shon O’Connor-VZ
Often previous lessons make references to the “Way of the Carpenter”. We gain a lot of lessons from the carpenter messages. Yet, in the actual translation, the word was related to the “Building Trades” not limited to “carpenter”. With that perspective in mind, I am going to introduce some lessons I learned recently that I will call the “Way of the Plumber”.
I had been visiting my parents and arrived home anticipating the arrival of several guests. I had planned to take them on the perfect Southwest Georgia experience. The moment we arrived from the airport, I found a flooded house and yard. My week and my well laid plans were thrown off by a plumbing disaster.
Some problems with your home can be put off. You can live without electricity for a while. But like in life, some problems like plumbing demand immediate attention and must be dealt with at once.
In this case, the flooding required my immediate attention and I had to find a solution. As I let go of the plans for my guests and began to examine the immediate problem, I got lots of advice from neighbors and friends, urging me to call a plumber. But I had the thought “Maybe I can get it working.” As I took the next steps to track down the source of the overflow, I could not miss that this experience provided a metaphor for challenges I faced in my own life. I would like to share with you some of my lessons learned in the “Way of the Plumber”.
Of course, this chain of events brings to mind the adage that when we make plans, God laughs. Very often our well laid plans must be put on hold until we remove old problems in order to move on to your new life. As I reflect on my plumbing experience, I identified five metaphors for life:
- Look beyond the obvious. It has been said that a plumber is an adventurer who traces leaky pipes to their source. Similarly, I had water pouring on the floor in one bathroom, then a second. I had to trace down what would be blocking the flow through each pipe and identify the source of the problem. As in life, I could not see the source of the problem on the surface. I had to dig up part of my yard to track down the blockage. Life can be that way. We often mistake the more obvious sign of trouble………. looking on the surface, but we must dig down deep to find the source. And when you are doing the work of the plumber, it can be hard, difficult, and even painful to get to the source.
- When you encounter a big barrier, you need to hit it head on and work right through it. I had to push through and tackle the problem right away. It took all my energy and problem solving to tackle it and resolve it. If I had waited and complained and procrastinated the problem was not going away, it would only get worse. I had to take the initiative knowing that the work ahead would be a dirty difficult process. If I had allowed any doubt that solving the problem myself NOW was worth the effort, I could not have started. I had to believe I could tackle it. At the time, this was a huge crisis for me and my biggest issue. Now, I can laugh about it.
- Being in the flow. The flow of your life can be stopped, and we must be patient with that. There are a lot of things in life that we can miss the greater lesson. I realize that one of my biggest hurdles was letting go of what my expectations of the week and what I planned for my guests. I know now that I was fortunate to be present and able to shift and deal with the problem right then. It may not seem like a convenient time, but some issues will hinder your life flow until you STOP and deal with them. Get that shovel and dig it out!
- Having our thoughts and feelings flowing in the right direction. We must continually shift our perspective. While most of the time we can keep that going, there are those times where you encounter a barrier that blocks you from progress and you need help. You need a professional or support from someone to get the flow going. Our collaboration with our guidance is a way to get past those times of blockage.
- Keep a view to the future when planting seeds. There is a lesson in the concept you reap what you sow. When you select a plant to put in your garden, you may not think about the future if it outgrows the area, it is in. In my case the person who planted a tree right on top of the water line from the city, was not thinking about the future conflict
when the giant roots of the tree engage the city pipes. We have all heard the phrase: “You are lost if you have not been honest with yourself, and your life is largely unexamined.” This expresses my point about looking again at your life, do you have expectations and plans without dealing with cutting out the old ones? Letting go of old plans and even dreams can make way for the future.
If I feel unsure of the next step in any situation, I let go and let Spirit. I don’t walk away from difficulty or try to force resolutions. Instead, I release my tight mental grip on problems and open myself to solutions. I let go of my ego’s desire for control and my need to bring about specific outcomes. I believe there are solutions and remedies beyond what my mind can conceive. I yield to possibility. I trust the indwelling divine presence just as I would trust a mentor. Letting go and letting Spirit means creating space for the dynamic, creative energy of Spirit to inspire and surprise me. Divine love, wisdom, and understanding fuel my thoughts, express through my words, and guide me in all ways.