Monday, January 29, 2007

Heat is a good thing

Yesterday afternoon the boys and I were sitting in the living room, all warm and cozy, because it was way too cold to be outside (I think the high was like 8). Nick and I were "beading" which for you not in the know, that is making necklaces, bracelets etc. out of beads. Nick, by the way, made a very cool watchband with brown and blue stones. Kyle was busy drumming along with Michael W. Smith's concert dvd. All was good.

Then I noticed it was getting a little chilly in the house. Oh, I must have forgotten to turn the heat back up after getting home from church. So I turned the thermostat up and did not hear the furnace kick in. So I turn it down and back up again - kind of like when a button doesn't work the first time, you think it's going to work if you push it twelve more times.

This goes on for a minute or so until I realize. Uh oh. The last time I checked that little gauge thingy on top of the fuel tank there was about 50 gallons left. That was a few weeks ago and since the furnace goes through about 2-3 gallons a day...well, you do the math.

Because obviously I did not.

If you aren't in the know about fuel oil heat, it's that big tank in my basement (painted the same red color as the wall to disguise it's bigness) and that's what fuels the furnace. There is a pipe that runs outside the house and they come with a big truck and pump the fuel into your house just like you would pump gas into your car. "They" being the fuel guys and "come" meaning you have to call them. In advance...meaning before you are out of fuel. You see where this has gone...I did not call and they did not come.

For about an hour I considered waiting until morning to get fuel. I set up heaters in our bedrooms, it would be a little chilly, kind of like camping, right? We'd be fine. Then I remembered how cold it feels in the house in the fall, before I have turned on the furnace for the year and it gets down to like 55 in the house. And today it's 8 degrees outside.

Again with the math.

So, I called the emergency fuel # and got Joe Fuel Guy on the phone. I told him the problem and asked if he can help. He asked me if I have a man around. I say no (and resisted the urge to go into a polite rant about how I am capable of doing anything that a man would do except lift heavy objects and pee standing up - which I probably could do but it would be messy). And then he asked how old I am...who is this guy, and why does he want to know if I'm alone and how old I am? I said "why do you want to know that???" He back-pedalled like crazy, saying he didn't mean anything improper but was just needing to know if I was a little old lady who wouldn't be able to help him and if I was a little old lady that was ok he would bring someone to help him. I just laughed and he said he'll be right over with the fuel.

The boys in the mean time, in case you were wondering, were totally unconcerned that the house was getting colder by the second. Good, no permanent psychological damage done.

So, here comes Joe Fuel Guy...dirty overalls, red plaid jacket with holes all over it. Long, unkempt mustache with a little supper still clinging to it. Just exactly like you would picture a fuel guy. He apologized profusely for the questions he asked on the phone and said that his wife chewed him out for it "do you realize how that sounded?!". Yes I did actually. Really he was a very nice man and not in the least bit irritated that he had to go out in the cold to rescue us. In fact he kept apologizing for how much he had to charge me to do so!

So...after getting the furnace started again (and paying the $45 emergency service fee - doh!) we had heat. Lesson learned - pay close attention to how full the tank is and don't wait until you run out and have a crisis.

It's the same way with God. How often do we neglect our relationship with Him, going days or weeks (or longer) without really spending time in the Word, and in prayer? Our tank gets lower and lower and if we don't pay attention and check the gauge in our hearts, we can miss it. Until it's empty and we are faced with a crisis. Our soul is parched and empty and we grow cold. Weary. Discouraged. Empty. It is nice to be rescued, but it is so much more comfortable to stay filled up. But if we do find ourselves with an empty tank (again) the good news is we can always call the Fuel Guy - and He will show up. Every time. At any hour. He will not be the least bit irritated that we ran out of fuel and called him in desperation.


And the best part? It's free.

"Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life." Revelation 22:17

"Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost." Isaiah 55:1

Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty." John 6:35

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