No Longer Visible

(Originally written, October 1999)

The rays of the morning sun continued to beat down upon me as I diligently searched for the missing sprinkler head.  I had a mop handle in one hand and a rake handle in the other.  I was probing every inch of the ground hoping for a lucky break.  As I looked over the large piece of ground, I was discouraged that I had not found even one of the six sprinkler heads.  After about an hour I finally found the first two, but by then I was too exhausted to continue.

This journey had begun a few years ago when, after living in our home for fifteen years, we finally installed a sprinkler system in our front yard and around our pool in the back.  However, we were not going to cover the large area behind our home.  At the last minute we decided to put in six bigger sprinkler heads that could be turned on manually when needed.  This greatly reduced our cost but increased my frustration level.  After a month or two of rain in the early summer, the grass grew and totally covered up the six outlets, which had not as yet been needed or used.  But the several weeks of drought that followed made them a dire necessity.

On the second day of the great search, I was able to find two more of the connections, although it was not easy.  Later that week I was down on my hands and knees searching (you can laugh) while still using my rake and mop.  I’m sure glad that the fence kept my neighbors from wondering about my mental state.  After over an hour of hard work, pacing off distances, and probing, I was still unsuccessful.  You would think that with two straight lines of three, I could zero in on the final two heads. Well, several days later the experts had to come out and fix some of our front yard connections, and they found the remaining two outlets.  However, they cheated.  They did not use a fancy device, but they had a drawing that mapped out the six places of installation.

The hours of this search has caused me to think about things that I own, have paid for, and are clearly mine, but nevertheless are lost and definitely of no use to me.  The fast paced growth of the grass had covered up all six outlets.  I had been so busy, that I did not realize that every day my valuable assets were being gradually hidden.  And when the time of need came, they were no longer useful to me.  Now, that’s frustrating!

I learned several lessons:

(1)  A simple map is more important than a lot of hard work.  I need to know where I am going and where my valuable things are located.

(2) I need to mark carefully the things that are important and protect them from the fast moving overwhelming push of life.

(3) I need to check my key assets regularly.

(4) I must understand that things (and people) in this world naturally deteriorate unless they are attended to consistently.

(5) Finally, when I get into trouble, I need to call the experts sooner.

You know that I am not only talking about a sprinkler head.  The lessons apply to every facet of our lives.  What do you consider most precious?  Is it your marriage, your family, your friends or your health?  Have you neglected a talent, an opportunity, or a valuable trophy or investment?  What is it that you possess, but have lost it or let it become no longer useful to you?  Finally, have you allowed the pace and pressures of daily living to cover you up and make you useless to your Creator?  You know, He not only created you but also bought you back again.  He calls out to you as you are covered up by life and says, “I love you – you are twice mine.”  Maybe some of us need to trim the weeds around us and allow ourselves to be hooked up to the source of water and be used to give nourishment to all those around us.  To be directed by the one with the road map sure beats pounding the hard ground with a mop handle!

Hooked up to the source,

“Your Word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.”  Psalm 119:105 (NIV)

“If a man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.”  John 7:37b (NIV)


About kenthumphreys
Kent Humphreys has been a business leader for over forty years. He also served as CEO of FCCI/Christ@Work for six years and now serves as their worldwide ambassador, speaking, writing, and mentoring young leaders. He continues to be active in distribution, private equities, and real estate. Kent and his wife Davidene have written six books together. They have three children and eight grand-children.

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