It started out as a small hole in our bathroom floor, or so we thought! It was just a weak spot, and we assumed it would be easily repaired. So we called a floor repair man. He sent his crew out and they began pulling the tiles back. This was the first sign that there was something majorly wrong.
As they began to pull the floor up, we realized that the entire floor was rotted, all the way to the wooden beams and it spread all the way underneath the big garden tub and to the wall. When they removed the bathtub, there was a huge gapping rotting hole and we could see the ground. There was also a horrible rancid stench that burned my eyes.
What we thought would be a simple fixed had turned into a huge and expensive job. We ended up having to replace everything in the bathroom except for the toilet. It took more money than we had anticipated and about a month to complete, as opposed to the week we originally thought it would be.
During the work in progress, our bedroom was filled, first with the smell of mold and rotting wood. Then as they cleaned that away, the gaping hole in the floor left our bedroom exposed to the elements. We went to bed each night praying a stray cat or raccoon would not decide to climb in! Then as they began adding the new wood and doing the carpentry work, our room was filled with sawdust. Because of all of this, my husband and I became sick with sinus infections and it took weeks for us to get over it.
Now, looking back, I wonder how we ended up going from just a small weak spot in the floor, to completely overhauling the entire bathroom. What could we have done to prevent the damage in the first place? The answer is now pretty obvious and it is a mistake we will never make again!
About 10 years ago, my husband decided to replace the carpet that was originally in the bathroom with vinyl tiles. He had good intentions! He knew if carpet were to get wet, that in itself could damage the floor. He figured putting down tile would be a better bet. However, there was one small thing he didn’t realize he was supposed to do. That was seal the tile to prevent water from seeping through the cracks into the floor beneath.
As the years went by, a little bit of water here and there did in fact seep through. Except no one knew it. It was undetectable. When I married my husband, the floor was still in tact and all the tiles were in place, but a year or two later, a few tiles became loose. Instead of fixing them and sealing the floor properly, we simply stepped over them. Then as one or two completely became free from the floor, we just put it back in place and kept right on about our business. All the while, water was getting sloshed out of the tub and dripped out of the shower, directly onto that particle board flooring beneath, and it was ever weakening.
I can’t help but think that many times, this is our spiritual lives. We come to God in the beginning and we give everything to him and we allow him to change us and make us new. God, being who he is does a perfect job! He doesn’t leave anything undone, but he does leave it up to us to maintain our relationship with him.
As time goes on, we neglect our relationship with God, here and there. We may let up on prayer, studying the word, and fasting. We may skip church once in awhile, but then it becomes more often. We may even find ourselves doing things that are not in line with a godly lifestyle.
At first, we don’t notice anything is wrong, but inevitably, if we continue to let things unravel, we will find ourselves stepping on a weak spot and falling through the floor, so to speak. And we will sit wondering how it got to this point.
The good news is, if we do find ourselves in this place, there is still hope! We can pull ourselves out of the hole in the floor and we can begin rebuilding our relationship with God. It will not be easy at first, and it may be costly, but the end result will be beautiful. And if we are smart, we will learn from our mistakes and be sure to seal things properly this time, and not neglect the things that need maintained.