A leaking copper pipeWe live in a wonderful age in the timeline of human kind; the age of running water in our homes.  It has not even been a hundred years since most of our relatives did not have this luxury.  I can remember as a child, visiting my Uncle Tank and Aunt Arabell’s farm in rural Crenshaw County, Alabama and the running water was a pump you had to prime at the sink.  The other facility was of course an outhouse covered in cobwebs and kudzu, with a dirt floor, plenty of ants and spiders, 100 feet from the back door.  Yes sir, in my lifetime, we have come into the Age of Aquarius, which now I understand to be the age of water in the house. However, with this opulence comes a new set of maintenance woes called plumbing.  The origin of the word “plumbing” comes from the Latin term “plumbum” which had to do with finding the depth of water or exploring and delving into a subject.  Today, plumbing, in my sense of the term is all about directing water from its source outside the house, through its circuit into the house, to its terminus outside the house, without leaking. I have some disdain for plumbing, as do most, but oddly, I’ve grown to appreciate the skill of containing and directing water without breaches.  Water is a chemical bond between two different elements, Hydrogen which contributes two atoms to this trio and one atom of Oxygen.  Together these three atoms require a very impregnable conduit to flow through, for even the tiniest hairline fracture in the pipe will result in a leak.  One drop of water roughly contains 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 H2O molecules. Plumbing is all about keeping the hordes of water molecules from coming through the fortress wall.

Now, the first thing one does with a plumbing problem is look for the quickest fix.  You know in the back of your mind that you should go get all the tools necessary, spare no expense in getting the best material, and tackle the problem far away from where the leak actually occurs.  However, the front of your brain says, “Just slap some silicone to it and get back to your football game.”  Quick fix!  No time to consider the ramifications of letting the army of water droplets find a way around the silicone and/or create new leaks.  You know what you must do, but the other part of your brain  refuses to comply, and soon, because water is tenacious, you’ll pay a greater price for not listening to your wiser half.

I don’t know if Paul knew anything about plumbing, but he did make a similar argument about our propensity to ignore that which we should not ignore.  Rom 7:19-21  For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.  (20)  Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.  (21)  So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. The jest of Paul’s argument in Romans chapter seven is not, “I can’t do it,” but rather, thanks  to Christ, I should now be led by my Spirit (Rom.8) and then, “I can do it!”   Christ has come to pave the way, to show us through His love and sacrifice that if we want, we too can handle the hordes of Satan’s lies and deceit.  We can stop the breach that lets in the evil thoughts and deeds.  When we see evil begin to leak into our homes and know we should fix the problem, don’t slap silicone to it!  Get out the manual (Bible), go and get all the good tools (prayer, brotherly support, meditation, Jesus Christ), and find the source of the problem, not just where the leak is occurring.

Many a person has used Romans seven as an OK to create a bigger problem or for giving up. They may say, “What difference does it make? I’m a sinner, there’s nothing I can do about it.”  They really don’t care about making things right or trying to fix the real problems.  Most of the time their remedy is a quick fix or cover up.  Their thinking may be, “If I can’t see the problem, maybe it’ll go away.”  Paul’s solution to the problem of sin in His life; Jesus Christ!

Andy Griffin once gave Aunt Bea some great advice when their freezer was broken and her solution was to “kick the can down the road”. She wanted to do everything but fix the problem and Andy said, “Aunt Bea, just call the man.”  When you’ve got a leak in the house, call a plumber.  When you’ve got a spiritual leak, call on Christ and fix the problem right.

Darryl Fuller