I know the things I’m good at, and the ones I’m not. Most of the time, I’ll make the right choice and either delegate the things I’m not proficient in or hire someone to do them. I’d rather pay someone to do something in an hour than waste an entire weekend trying to do it myself, then have to end up paying someone to not only complete the initial task but also fix what I managed to break during that wasted weekend.
As I said, that’s most of the time. There are, however, instances wherein even though I know I should be calling someone, I talk myself into attempting certain things, things I have no business attempting, all the while thinking that it can’t be all that hard.
After the final thaw this spring, while turning on the water for the outside spigots, I discovered there was a pipe in the basement that was leaking. It wasn’t a bad leak; it wasn’t pouring or sputtering; it was a just a slow, steady drip. It’s not like there was a chance of the basement flooding or anything, so I decided this was one of those times where I would seize the moment and be the handyman my wife has always insisted I am not.
Three hours later, YouTube diploma in hand, I decided I knew enough about fixing a leaky pipe, I might as well open my own plumbing business on the side. There were various options to be sure. I could buy pipe clamps or go the epoxy putty route, I even learned about slip couplings, but that requires pipe cutting, and I didn’t own pipe cutters. Soldering would have been an option as well if I owned a soldering iron. Then, of course, there was the less technical option of using self-fusing silicone tape, or the everyman’s best friend, especially when he doesn’t have a clue as to what he is doing, duct tape.
I decided to keep it simple. I drove to the hardware store bought a roll of self-fusing silicone tape and a couple of rolls of duct tape, then went to work on the pipe. By the time I was done, it looked like a miniature football. Nothing was getting through that tape. At least that’s what I thought at the time. I turned the water back on, waited for a few minutes until I was satisfied that the leak had been fixed, then went on about my day.
A few hours later, when I went to confirm that I was now a world-class plumber, and would nevermore need the assistance of a licensed individual who had actually gone to a trade school to be a plumber, my miniature football consisting of silicone and duct tape looked like it was nine months pregnant, and about ready to pop. It’s not that the pipe had stopped leaking, I’d just covered it up, hoping it would go away on its own. Not only did I end up having to call the plumber, but I also had to pay extra because it was well into the evening, and there was an added for emergency services. It turned out there was no fixing the pipe. It needed to be replaced altogether, and thirty minutes later, it was.
There are no easy fixes to the problems this nation is facing. Trying to duct tape over them will only serve to mask the issue temporarily. What is needed if we hope to remedy the situation is for men to be renewed in the spirit of their mind, and for the nation to return to the God they abandoned long ago thinking it knew better.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.