The Race for Cleanup: Victory Series, Part 48


"We continue to shout our praise even when we're hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next." (Rom 5:3-4 The Message)

A few months ago I had an unusual encounter with my paper shredder. I was deep into housecleaning, the kind where you get to throw away tons of fossilized scraps (junk) that have accumulated seemingly from nowhere. I had a pile of papers to shred, as in our current day and age this is supposedly the best way to dispose of paper containing personal information, and so I brought out my "precious" paper shredder.

It did fine at first. Fifteen minutes, to be exact! Then it took a break. It was, apparently, overheated, and I patiently (Or maybe I should say, "impatiently"!) covered it with ice-cubes to cool it off. (Not really! I just turned on the fan!) Fifteen minutes later I was back in business. And yes, a quarter of an hour later, it wanted another break. Are these machines unionized or what?

The third time my shredder took an extended holiday, it never returned. In other words it was completely kaput, out-of-juice, mechanically out-of order. I glared at it. How could it do this to me?

I called in the reinforcements, and my son was soon busily occupied with performing a surgical operation on my poor, overworked shredder. Unfortunately it didn't work. The machine had died on me without even asking my permission!

The truth of the matter was, my paper shredder passed away because my impatience killed it! I wanted the mountain-size pile of papers to disappear within the hour, and as a result, my machine had a heart attack, and a messy-one at that!

After the purchase of a new shredder, I made sure to feed it only a certain number of sheets at a time, and I gave it long breaks. I even polished its casing, in hopes that this will brighten its day and make its life more comfortable. Amazingly, it is still alive today! That polishing sure works!

The same is true when we want to perform a cleanup on our lives. We have to be patient and trust in God's Spirit to know what He is doing. It is a process that guides us into a profound knowledge of our Lord and Saviour. It is one that will lead us to victory!

So if you are tempted to be impatient, remember my poor shredder! It will leave you worse off than before! Paper shredders are expensive you know!

Rob Chaffart

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