Thursday, September 04, 2008

Neglect Can Infect

We have made it back to our house in Lima. It was good to sleep in our own bed. That pillowtop mattress is certainly very pleasant, even though the sheets were damp from the heavy humidity. It was like climbing into a wet sock that first night.

So many things have to be done when you come back into a house after so many months. Things get neglected and you don't need to neglect a single room in a house down here. When you do, small problems can be waiting there for you. Like mold. Or leaks. Or large, ugly arachnids.

Give me the leak any day. You can have the spiders. I grabbed something hollow in a corner that had been neglected (even though that room had been used the entire time we were absent) and it was full of a colony of those things, all crawling on top of one another. I did not know I could move so fast, getting that item out of our house.

Then there are the things that tend to malfunction in your absence, like our phones. We have no phone service; it died in the past couple of days. The security service came by to ask if we knew we had a failure in the phone lines. His question was classic: "Why don't you call them and report your line out of order?" I glibly replied that I would if I had a phone that worked. But we don't. He assumed we had a backup plan--the imperative cell phone. Sorry, those have not arrived yet. Unlike some places in the world, where you can leave the store with phone in hand, we have now waited 4 days for the phones that were to arrive "yesterday."

All of this teaches me an important spiritual lesson: neglect leads to decay. If I neglect my spiritual well-being I will, little by little, begin to decay spiritually. A little maintenance goes a long way in preventing decay; a little exercise will keep your muscles toned. A little spiritual exercise will do the same.

Now I need to return to my house and resume the important work of cleaning and repairing those neglected areas. But first, I need to be sure no area of my spiritual self is in need of cleaning and repair...; how about you?


GuyMuse said...

What you describe is one of the "down sides" of Stateside Assignment. Coming back and having to pick up again things neglected for months is always a daunting task. May God grant you grace in getting "back in the saddle."

Kevin, Somewhere in South America said...

thanks, guy! We are making progress, though we have made regular trips to the street with countless items that no longer work and need to be discarded. The garbage sifters are glad these days when we put out another load.