When I walked into the bathroom with stocking feet, I winced. The squish and wet sensation shouted, “saturated rug.” My investigation led to an overflowing commode tank as the source. Water had dripped from the tank, accumulated on the floor, and spread to the carpet. After mopping, I placed towels on the floor to determine if there would be a repeat event. The next morning they were saturated; dripping when I picked them up.
Not quite sure of the reason for the malfunction, I called a plumber. I always learn a lot during my home maintenance experiences. This time my plumber-teachers told me about wax rings, air valves, (I knew about flappers), and a pressure regulating valve. Failures of all contributed to one small drip that multiplied, ruining the carpet and changing my checkbook balance.
Those drips were small, but damaging. Perhaps you’re familiar with the verse in Proverbs 27:15-16 that describes a quarrelsome wife like the dripping of a leaky roof in a rainstorm. Her words and temper are nearly impossible to restrain and cause relationship damage. The verse that follows emphasizes it’s like trying to restrain the wind or grasping oil with the hand. Or, in contemporary language, nailing Jell-O to a wall.
But drips aren’t limited to wives. An unkind word in the workplace drips to change a co-worker’s day from sunshine to gloom. Drips of gossip damage reputations. Social media posts drip sarcasm, adversarial comments and arguments which sometimes get out of control. Our annoyances and irritations drip and spread to anyone in our sight and hearing.
On the other hand, drips can be positive, enjoyable, and even lucrative. Maxwell House coffee was the top selling coffee brand in the United States for almost 100 years. Their ad campaign in 1915 used the slogan “Good to the Last Drop.” You can still find Maxwell House coffee on supermarket shelves today, and that slogan remains their registered trademark. Their refreshing coffee is still “Good to the Last Drop.”
In Galatians 5: 22-23 (ESV), we read, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…”
What might that look like in practical action? We can drip refreshment by promoting peace in the workplace, offering gentle words to an exasperated cashier, responding with patient words to children, or sending an encouraging text to a struggling friend.
Maybe we’ll saturate our surroundings, but I bet no one will wince and it won’t dent our checkbook balance. We may find we’ve added value to our day.
How have you experienced drips of kindness, patience, or joy from someone? Did it change your outlook? Share with us.