When does a homeowner really start to feel like a homeowner? I think there is a point at which one crosses that divide and says, "Man, this place is really mine!" but what exactly is that point? Is it signing all the papers on closing day? Well, sort of, but no, not really. Is it moving all of your stuff in? No, not so much for me. That's mainly annoying. Is it painting the walls your own custom color and hanging up your family portraits? Um, maybe, but not really what I'm going for here. Is it going outside on a perfect, bright summer day and mowing the grass? Is it answering the door with a bowl of candy for adorable and neighborly trick-or-treaters? Is it hanging up the wreath on the front door and stringing up lights for Christmas? No, no and again, no. Sadly, though these are all great things, nothing makes the sobering fact of home-ownership sink in quite like replacing the wax ring under your toilet for the very first time.
We have been experiencing some plumbing problems of late. Turns out that the folks who remodeled our house cut a few corners when it came time to install the toilets, so that the flange underneath the throne isn't really attached to anything and the tile is uneven, which makes the can sort of rock from side to side. Long story short, the wax seal underneath the john becomes compromised and the whole house fills up with the unique, unmistakable and disparaging smell of sewage and methane gas... And look, when you have a problem with your toilets, you have a problem. That is when you know you're a homeowner. I mean, yesterday, the kids were insane. There was so much griping, complaining and fussing that I almost lost my mind. At the end of the day, Christy just said, "I think everyone in the house has just been completely affected by the overwhelming smell of poo." Amen, sister!
A friend told me to simply change the wax ring out and make a new seal. He said it costs $2.00, takes ten minutes and is a piece of cake, so I took Jack down to Home Depot so that he could see how a real man takes care of his family and fixes things. I came home with the wax ring and got to work. 45 minutes later my back was sore, my hands were sticky, I was frustrated and confused and our house still smelled like a T-Rex with the stomach flu. I went to bed emotionally drained and spent a restless night tossing and turning, unable to stop thinking about my failure as a man and the pungent smell of doo. I needed help! I needed someone with skills who could do the things I couldn't! I needed someone with wax ring experience and an iron nasal constitution to swoop into my house and help me! I needed the homeowners best friend! I needed... a reasonable plumber.
I called him this morning. He came in and did the things I don't know how to do. He installed new wax rings, meticulously fitted some plastic shims to stop the rocking pot and did it all without uttering even one profanity. Wow.
In the Old Testament, there was a whole class of folks whose lives were devoted to doing things for people they couldn't do for themselves. They were the priests. They interfaced with Almighty God on behalf of the normal folks. They sang to Him, sacrificed to Him and prayed to Him. One very special priest, called, "the high priest" got to go right into the presence of God on one day of the year. Those guys are gone, but now Jesus has become our High Priest. Hebrews 7 says, "Such a high priest meets our need–one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself." Isn't that awesome? Jesus is the one who has done for us what we could have never done ourselves. When we are frustrated, confused and covered in the stench of our own haphazardly patched-up lives, we have a high priest who gives us peace with God, adoption by God and friendship with God: Jesus, the friend of sinners and our merciful High Priest.