I Was Wrong!

Have you ever been wrong when you knew that you were right? It is kind of hard to take. Humility is not a gift that I have prayed for but I think God is determined to give it to me anyway.

A few years ago Cynthia noticed that the bathtub in the front bathroom was belching.   A belching bathtub means one thing in our house: there is a clog in the pipe somewhere downstream. I wasn’t too worried. I would call the city and they would fix it. Ever since I replaced all the Orangeburg waste pipes with PVC pipes in 1996, I have never had any more problems on my side of the fence. Whenever there was a problem it was in the city’s pipes in the back alley.

I was certain it was the city’s problem and so I called them. They sent a truck out and instead of fixing the problem, they said it was mine to fix! I knew that wasn’t true and I told them so. I would prove it by opening the clean-out that I put near the alley and show them. The only problem was that the clean-out was not on the surface so I couldn’t show them immediately. They had another call but told me to call a plumber.

I was upset. This was not the way I had planned to spend my day off. Actually, I was a little bit angry. I grabbed my shovel and began to uncover the clean-out. As soon as I found it and confirmed that it was the city’s problem, I would call again. In fact, I just might go talk to the city manager. Those fellows should have tried to remove out that clog that I knew was there.

I had put this clean-out a few inches below the surface of the ground but I knew exactly where it was. But somebody must have moved it because after about 30 minutes of digging, I hadn’t found it. So, I went to look at my diagrams I made in 1996. I knew where they were. I had noted on these diagrams the exact distance from the house to the clean-out.   I found the file folder where they should have been. But somebody must have moved them. This was not a good sign. I was evidently wrong about the location of the clean-out. I was wrong about the location of the diagrams. But I knew I was right about whose problem the clog was.

After about 8 hours of digging I had cleared a space of about 9 feet by 13 feet about a foot deep. This was not easy because somebody put a lot of trees in our back yard. Trees have roots and roots are stubborn. But I still hadn’t found the clean-out! It was getting dark and I was tired and sore so I quit for the day. Prayers hadn’t seemed to help me find the clean-out. Digging only proved where the clean-out wasn’t. Maybe I could find some pictures of the project from 1996.

After several hours of going through pictures (somebody hadn’t organized them very well), I finally discovered three pictures of the trench I had dug in 1996. They revealed that I had piled the dirt where I should have been digging! So, after an hour’s digging on Tuesday afternoon I uncovered the clean-out. Now the truth would be revealed!

The truth was revealed and I was wrong! The problem really was my responsibility to fix, which I did after much tribulation. I am glad I didn’t call the city manager. I’m glad I didn’t fuss at the utility department about their help. God uses circumstances to teach me lessons I didn’t know I needed to know. Does He do that with you too?

– Henry Hazard