I fancy myself a pretty-good average, really-average nonprofessional electrician. I can do simple things like rewire some lamps, re-hang the dining-room chandeliers (well, one fell down, but it did miss David’s head). Now I leave the heavier pieces to the professionals.
But when the dimmer switch in the dining room kept falling on the floor (not the whole apparatus, mind you, just the switch), it became a nuisance. If you pressed the switch up to turn on the lights or down to turn off the lights, it would fall, roll onto the floor and defiantly hide somewhere in the carpet.
The little hook on the metal underside was broken. This meant that the whole dimmer unit would have to be pried from the wall, the screws removed, the caps twisted off, everything removed, then a whole new unit installed in reverse order—wires matched, caps twisted on, everything stuffed back into the wall hole, screws twisted into holes, and the lids snapped over the new switch.
During a quick trip to the hardware store, I happened to be in the very aisle where dimmer switches were displayed. (How often does that happen—to be exactly where you need to be when you are on a hardware-store search?) And to my great delight, I actually bought the correct replacement. It matched my old switch exactly. So I went to the main electricity box in the basement laundry room, above the dryer, pulled the kitchen-light circuit switch (this also controls the dining-room lights), tested to see if there was any live current in the wire and began to replace the old dimmer set with a new one.
At this time, my husband walked through the room and decided to give me a hand. “Are you sure the electricity is off?” he asked. I assured him I knew what I was doing (he may have been thinking about that falling chandelier) and that the electricity had been turned off. Actually, I’m not sure my husband knows where the master electrical box is!
By this time, David had taken charge of the unscrewing, cap turning, and re-screwing, etc. I, the pretty-good average, but really-average non-professional electrician, was assigned the task of finding the right size flat screwdriver and a small Phillips screwdriver, of holding the flashlight and advising from the sidelines. Actually this was a two-person, really average, non-professional electrician job, simple as it might have seemed. Someone had to run for tools, hold flashlights and advise from the side. Getting the right screws in the right holes was a little tricky. I held the casing while David found the tiny holes.
But together we got it done. Apart from snide asides, I was glad that my husband had stopped on his way through the dining room and given me a hand—well, taken over. Small tasks sometimes do go better with two workers. In fact, most of life is better when we share the chores with someone else. The prosaic becomes less ordinary when two people—a spouse or a child or a friend—help one another with my tasks.
Dishes get done faster. The table is immediately re-set. A dinner cooked together is a pleasure. Baking in the kitchen takes half the time (someone else washes up the measuring cups, spoons and cooking pans, my faulty measuring-math is double-checked; someone else stirs batter). “A threefold cord cannot be broken,” says Scripture (Ecclesiastes 4:12). Two is better than one for most of life’s mundane activities, and it is also two-thirds of the way to being a cord of three strands.
Now, we need to insulate the crack between the two front doors. I can feel the cold air seeping through. I wonder when David will mosey into the hall?
Award-winning author Karen Mains has long had an interest in spiritual formation and the obedient Christian walk. She has written about the God Hunt in her book by the same name, The God Hunt: The Delightful Chase and the Wonder of Being Found. A hardback copy can be ordered from Mainstay Ministries for $10.00 plus $4.95 shipping and handling. Contact Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will be happy to autograph a copy for you.
Karen continues to write content for her Christian blog, “Thoughts-by-Karen-Mains.” In so doing, she desires to touch the lives of Christian women and men and help them find ways to walk closer with the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, through silent retreats, spiritual teaching, women’s retreats, Christian vacation opportunities, and other ministry activities, Karen helps each Christian woman and man receive vital spiritual food.
Through her Hungry Souls ministry, Karen serves as a spiritual coach to many Christian women and men, and teaches a mentor-writing class. And, through the Global Bag Project, she is working to develop a network of African women who sew exquisite cloth reusable shopping bags, Africa bags. This micro-finance women opportunity helps provide a much-needed sustainable income for struggling African families. For more information on this critically important project, please click here.
For decades, Karen and her husband, David, have served God through religious communications—radio, television, and print publication. They are the co-authors of the Kingdom Tales Trilogy: Tales of the Kingdom, Tales of the Resistance, and Tales of the Restoration. To find many valuable resources for pastors and congregations at the Mainstay Ministries main website, please click here.
Likewise, pastors will find special resources to help them prepare effective, life-transforming Sunday sermons by visiting David Mains’ website by clicking here.