I recently confessed on social media that I was living with a secret shame. There were areas of my kitchen I could not clean, but I knew they needed to be done. It had been years that the stove and fridge had been pulled out and adequately cleaned behind. When I moved into this apartment in the 1990s, I did so in the full knowledge that the suite had not been renovated since the opening of the building in 1972.
My harvest gold stove’s companion – a manual defrost fridge – died a few years after I moved into my suite, but the stove worked wonderfully up to a few months ago. The oven no longer regulated its temperature, and the timer had a mind of its own. Although I hadn’t used it for years, it began to ding randomly. The final straw was when my favourite burner element stopped working. It was time for a new stove.
What held me back from calling maintenance? I didn’t want anyone to see how messy things were behind that stove. I finally had enough! I hired a friend’s son to clean beneath my fridge and stove. He did a great job and did all the heavy lifting.
With a clean slate, I called my rental office, and after a brief consult, they agreed it was time for an upgrade. A few days later, the maintenance man knocked at my door with a new stove and a dolly to carry the old one away.
But there was a glitch. The stove moved into the building when the building opened in 1972. Back in 1972, stoves were hard-wired into the wall. There was no external outlet, and new stoves come with a plug. Reassuring me that he would be right back, the maintenance man was good on his word. He found the materials needed and replaced the hard-wire with a proper plug.
After giving me a brief tutorial on how to use the stove, my new friend whisked my old stove away. As it’s still waiting to be taken from our storage room that leads out to our garbage compound, I see the stove at least twice a week. I don’t miss the old clunker in the least.
Yes, the new stove’s controls are different from the old one, and there was a slight learning curve. But I love the digitalized features, and I do not miss Harvest Gold in the least. I have an accurate oven. I have a stove that is easy to keep clean and much easier to move. I probably would have enjoyed the upgrade months earlier if I had been willing to deal with the secret under the stove.
If you are a regular reader of my blogs, you’ve probably picked up on the fact that I write with metaphors and written illustrations because that is the way God speaks to me. Years ago, He asked me to share with my audience similarly. So here’s the not-secret reason I am writing this today. It’s not about the stove.
Are you hard-wired into a way of thinking or believing that is no longer useful for you? It no longer serves a purpose, and it no longer allows you to bless and help others. Again, I’m not talking about a stove here. Are patterns, belief systems, and harmful habits so ingrained in you that they’re attached to secret shame? Are you stalled and stuck and not living your life to the fullest? Are you unable to bless others the way you would like to?
Let’s go back to the analogy. My old oven’s temperature gauge was no longer accurate, but now, I can set my range to a precise degree. If I wanted to bake a cake for a friend, I wouldn’t have to worry about the cake burning or being raw in the middle. If I follow the recipe, the cake will turn out the way the original recipe creator designed it.
Are you living in a rundown existence of your own making? Are you comfortably discontent with things falling apart around you? Do you believe you can’t break free from the hard-wire you created? I have good news for you.
Jesus is the master plug changer; He can change your hard-wiring and plug you into a better source. He can set you free if you let Him into your messes. If your world is smaller and smaller because of secret shame, your effectiveness in bringing God’s light to the world around you is less and less. Perhaps it’s time to allow Jesus to snip the cord and rewire you into who He created you to be in 2023.
Until Next Week