Saturday, February 21, 2015

A Day at the Loft

It was many years ago that a particular job was scheduled. The afternoon came and I drove around the building many times looking for an available place to park. It was on the edge of downtown, one of those areas where parking is almost non-existent. Finally, I had enough. I called the customer and left a message on his voicemail. A little while later he is leaving multiple messages for me, telling me how he is going to sue me for not doing his work. I realized something quickly - this is not the kind of person I would ever want to work for; completely unreasonable and acting as if he did not know I would have a hard time parking. All he cared about is that he had "cleared his schedule" for this afternoon. I placed a memo in my mind - avoid downtown work in the future. I was also a little scared- what if he did sue me? And the other feelings: I was angry that he was treating me this way and I felt upside down on the inside.

So a week ago I get a call. The lady mentions various things to do at her downtown loft. She assured me parking would be available in the early morning. As the week went on, that job was on my mind a lot. What if I have to go get supplies? Will I find a parking spot when I get back?

The night before was the worst. It seemed I thought about it all night. My best catastrophic thinking kicked in. I decide if I get there and can't find parking then I will just call and say I can't do it. But I didn't want that because then I would have a day without work. I struggled to give it over to God. I had a hard time trusting that it would work out. I doubted that he would really care for me in this situation.

So I show up in the morning and find a place right in front of the building. The meter is for 2 hours. I wonder if I will get a ticket if I stay longer than that even if I put in more money.

The first job is to pull out one wall oven and put in a new one. The old comes out easy. I transfer the plug to the new one and when we slide it in, we find out it is configured different and won't fit. So out it comes and the old goes back in until they can get an electrician to reconfigure the electrical. Thankfully, they were very accepting of the situation.

I get the rest of the list: a showerhead, three overhead pendant lights, two lavatory faucets and a kitchen faucet. The showerhead and lights go in easy. Now comes the unpredictable. Amazingly, it seems I will have all the supplies I need for the faucets. The first lavatory faucet comes out fairly easy and the new one is soon in place. Next is the drain popup. Here is where the fight begins. It's not going to go easily. Soon I am cutting away the corroded locknut with a small hacksaw. The space is so tiny I only have a few inches to work. It probably took a half-hour to cut through the nut. Finally the old is out and the new in. Thanks to an imperfect hole where the part attaches to the sink, normal procedures don't apply. I have to use some silicone sealer to keep it from leaking. The second sink went better.

I move on to the kitchen. To get to the underside of the faucet and valves I have to remove the disposal. I then find out the valve does not shut off completely. The question is raised if they have a main shut-off for their unit. Phone calls are made and we look around to see if we can find one. After a search, valves are found behind the washer. The water is now off. As I look at the underside of the faucet, I see that the nut is covered with rust. In my mind, another battle begins to form. This one will not be easy. The space I had on the other sink looks huge compared this one. There will be no room to saw it off. I may be able to use a long drill bit to weaken the nut. I may have to cut the faucet apart from the top. So here it goes: I lift my basin wrench up through the small area, get it wrapped around the nut and amazingly it moves. The worst didn't happen. It comes off and soon I have the new one in its place. But the story is not over. The factory installed water supply line is too short on one side. I am going to need a special adapter. Here comes the dreaded trip to the hardware store and the lost parking space - and I was so close to being done.

A thought comes to mind. I get a King Soopers bag, put it over the meter and write NO PARKING on it. Off I go and when I get back, it is still there. This is in a spot where cars cruise the block constantly looking for parking. Twenty minutes later the job is all done.

So as I look back I see so many God things in this day. I had the right tools, almost all of the parts I needed, parking worked out, and I had the ability I needed to do the work. So many gifts from God. Most of all, the customers were so happy to get things done.

The problem is I want to feel in control. I don't want things to be unpredictable. I want to see how things will go before I start. I don't want to look foolish before people if I feel I have failed.

I see that sometimes my mind is my worst enemy. It gets me to spend so much time worrying when I should be trusting. Every day is an opportunity to see how much God cares for me. It's a lesson I seem to need to learn over and over. The evidence says I can count on God, my mind says maybe not this time.

In the future, I will probably avoid Downtown but hopefully it won't be because of fear.

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