I removed the wet clothes from the washing machine and placed them in the dryer.    Before closing the door I cleaned the lint trap and walked up the stairs, like always.   A couple of hours later I carried my laundry basket down the stairs to retrieve my fresh-smelling dried clothes.   As I opened the door I discovered that the clothes were still wet.   Thinking the weight of the drenched clothes may have jarred the door open enough to turn off the drying cycle, I reset the timer and headed back upstairs. 

Bounding back down into the basement I opened the door and reached in to retrieve the clothes. Confronted again with a load of wet clothes I breathed a heavy sigh of frustration.    My dryer was not working and more dirty clothes were beginning to take over my basement floor.

A Facebook friend suggested that the clothes could be worn again by turning them inside out, and further suggested they could be made fresh by a few sprits of Febreeze.   Jokingly I responded that I had done that and now my only option was to go shopping for new clothes.   She quickly typed back with a more simple and less expensive solution:  “Not new clothes. . . different scent of Febreeze!”

As tempting as her suggestion was I knew I had to get my dryer working.   So I begin the work of opening up my dryer to get a look at the inside.   I was confident my heating coil had stopped working and a simple removal of that old coil and a replacement of a new one would do the trick.  Simple, right?   Right.   I begin taking out screws.   How do I get into this thing to get to my heating coil?  With each removed screw it looked less possible to get to the damaged part I desired.   Am I going to have to remove every screw to get inside?

I went to my computer and googled the GE serial number and discovered I have one of the few dryers made where you have to completely disassemble the dryer, including the drum, to get to the heating coil.   Now my frustration is mounting.  A job I thought would take thirty minutes has turned into hours.

To make a long story short, I got the part and repaired my dryer.  I now have clean clothes to wear.  

I have found many things in life are like fixing my dryer.  You have a quick plan only to discover that it will cost more and take longer than you expected.  Here is what I have learned to do when life gets complicated.


Seek Out The Expert

With my dryer I consulted with my Dad, a couple of handy men, did research on the internet and even read the manual.   I wanted to make sure I had made the proper diagnosis and thought out the solution to my trouble.  

In life when we find ourselves in a difficult circumstance we may need to talk with a respected spiritual leader, a Christian friend or seek God’s advice by a study of His word.  Proverbs tells us that a wise man seeks counsel.


Focus Verses Frustration

I begin breaking down my dryer.  Just when I thought I had found a way to get to the heating coils I desired to replace I would hit a road block.  More screws, more time and frustration begin to build.  I even rationalized it would be better for me to purchase a new dryer then to go to all this trouble.  More than once I threw up my hands and paced the floor with frustration.   With each screw my aggravation grew.  Finally I had to walk away a few minutes to regain my focus. 

Life is much like this too.  Troubles in life are like those screws in my dryer.   With each turn they disappoint us and we become weary in our efforts.   Just when we think we are making headway we run into a road block.   

If we allow the frustration to control us we act in ways that is unbecoming or we rush ahead too soon.   Do you need some examples?  A person loses hope in ever finding a mate to their standards so their frustration leads them to settle, opening the door to future pain.  A Christian stops serving the Lord early, missing the eternal reward.   A man allows his job to be more important than his family and begins to slowly disconnect causing irreversible damage and the breakdown of his home.

There are times we need to take a walk, go on a retreat, and seize a few moments for reflection.   It is called focus.  It is a concentration on what you are there for---the end goal.   When you focus the frustrations melt away because you are envisioning where you yearning to be.


Do It Right

My Dad had a saying when I was growing up that has helped me even now that I am an adult.   He would sternly say, “If something is worth doing, it is worth doing right.”   

In my repair experience this week I could have completed the project with cheaper parts only to lower the quality of my work.   I could have left out parts I thought were unneeded or leave out screws I thought unnecessary.   By doing so, it would have worked, but most likely would have cheapened my efforts and I would have had to redo my work a short time later.

At the repair’s completion there was a great sense of pride as I turned on the dryer and felt the hot air shoot out of the vent.   It was worth doing right.


Celebrate The Victory

What did I do at the completion of my project?   I drove to Sonic and had me a lemon-berry slush; I celebrated my victory.   There needs to be more celebration in our lives.  The people in the Old Testament celebrated milestones with special feasts.  It was a way to rejoice over past victories and appreciated God’s hand in their lives.   Celebrate those victories and allow them to stand as a powerful testimony of the evidence that God is working in your life.

I am thankful my dryer is blowing hot air and I am not.