Exe Valley Mission Community


It's the little things...

It is the little things in life that cause the most bother. Something tiny and inconsequential can take on disproportionate significance!

Take the other day. There I was, hard at work, beavering away, when I suddenly fancied a cuppa. But while waiting for the kettle to boil, I did something, a tiny weeny something, a something that I didn't have to do, and wouldn’t normally do, but I did something which would have consequences for the rest of the day.

And here's what I did. I opened a cupboard door and started to tidy things up. I didn't need to. I didn't have to. I was just passing the time, while the kettle boiled.  I picked up all sorts of half empty packets, the tail end, fag end dregs of suppers passed, and started to put them together. And then - and here's where it all went wrong - I picked up two opened packets of couscous!

Oh! If only I’d known! Oh! If only I had left them on the shelf! But no! I picked them up, and realising that there was too much to put in one packet, I poured the couscous into an empty jar. Of course, there was far too much to squeeze in, and because, by now the kettle had boiled, and I really hadn't intended to sort out the cupboards, I chucked the superfluous couscous into the sink, before running the hot tap to swill it down the drain.

Running the hot tap! Running the hot tap! What was I thinking of? Running the hot tap! What a stupid, foolish, idiotic thing to do. Before I could utter the word, 'Tabbouleh', both sinks had blocked, with water attempting to gush onto the kitchen floor.

I tried poking in a skewer. Nothing. I looked for a plunger. Nothing. I waited a bit to see what would happen. Nothing. Then I drove to a well-known DIY store. "Where do you keep your plungers?" I asked an assistant. "We don’t," came the reply. "Haven't you heard, we’re being taken over? Plungers and other such equipment won't arrive until August!" August!

I decided to resort to chemicals - well, not chemicals exactly, but their enzyme blasting, couscous zapping, environmentally friendly equivalent - and hot footed it back home. I poured them in and watched. Nothing.

After a lot of faffing about, another trip into town, stronger, less enzyme, more chemical liquids, and the arrival of a Church Warden with plunger, (looking remarkably like the Statue of Liberty), as well as one ably used by a female family member, there was a sudden gloop and a gush and the water drained away.

And the moral of this story? Apart from the obvious hazards of chucking couscous down the sink, it occurred to me that a grain of couscous is tiny. It's hard to imagine that it could cause such a kerfuffle. But even tiny things, left to fester and grow can accumulate and cause enormous damage. Anger, for example; old hurts and resentments, quarrels and tittle-tattle. It's good to take heed to wise words, challenging us to keep short accounts and to deal with things properly, through being kind and forgiving. Ephesians 4:31-32 says: You must put away all bitterness, anger, wrath, quarreling, and slanderous talk - indeed all malice. Instead, be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you.

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