The annoying sounds coming from my stove would not be ignored. I had just slipped Sunday night dinner into the oven for my dad and me when the incessant beeps began. I eyed the ERROR message staring back at me from the digital panel and instinctively hit the STOP/CLEAR button. Nothing happened. I frantically pressed every button on the panel. The oven didn't turn off and seemed to be getting hotter and hotter. The beeps continued. Loud. Unrelenting. Do-something-now insistent.
I grabbed the owner's manual and flipped through the trouble-shooting pages. No answers, just an 800 number to call, which I did, thinking the help line could answer my dilemma. But the lady who answered only scheduled appointments for a repairman to come. Would Wednesday be okay? Wednesday? Three whole days away? Hardly a solution.
I finally found the sense to do what I should have done in the first place. Unplug the stove. Maybe large appliances are like cell phones. Just unplug them and plug them back in and hopefully they reset themselves. Fortunately for me, my dad arrived and between the two of us we pulled out the stove. Ah-ha! The plug had worked itself halfway out of the receptacle. I climbed down into the small space and pushed it in all the way. BEEP, BEEP, BEEP. It was only after I unplugged it and then plugged it back in that the beeping stopped. Whew!
But as I began to back out of the hole, I couldn't believe what I saw. Gunk had dripped down between the sides of the stove and the cupboards. Glass shards, crumbs, and a dried spill dirtied the floor. Ugh. Dad and I set to work, scrubbing and cleaning it all up. How long had it been since the stove was pulled out?
How many times have you been shocked by your own messes, especially if you're a pretty good housekeeper? Do we pay more attention to the things we and others can see? Maybe that's why it's necessary to take the time to do some deep cleaning now and then.
Later that week I ran across this quote by Oswald Chambers: "We can only be used by God after we allow Him to show us the deep, hidden areas of our own character."
Deep, hidden areas . . . like my stove space . . .
Deep hidden areas . . . like my heart . . .
How many times have you been shocked by your own messes, especially if you're a pretty good Christian? Do we pay more attention to what we and others can see? Maybe that's why it's necessary to take the time on a daily basis to pray, "Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting (Psalm 139:23, 24 AMPC).
And just like my dad, our heavenly Father is always ready and able to clean us all up.
*Photos from bing.com/images