I WANT A BACKUP SUMP PUMP.
Not just any backup sump pump.
I want a particular backup sump pump.
One that gets high ratings from customers who bought it.
Who would want a backup sump pump that got low ratings?
Here’s the problem. I can’t find anyone who sells it and installs it.
I have an ongoing email discussion with Hannah, a representative of the sump pump company.
She told me to try Ace Hardware or Home Depot or Northern Tool.
Each store carries some models of this particular brand, but not the model I want. And they tell me they can’t order it.
I emailed Hannah and told her frankly that she seems to have a distribution problem.
She said she is surprised. She told me to tell the local store sales representatives they can order the model directly from her, personally.
The sales representatives seem unable or unwilling to order a product that is not in their online catalog.
Ace Hardware said they would do some research and call me back. That was two days ago. Home Depot said the same, yesterday.
I hate to go directly to a plumber. They charge like surgeons and nurse anesthesiologists.
Theologically, that makes some sense. We are all equal in God’s eyes. Still, I think the butt crack warrants a steep discount.
I would install the sump pump myself but it looks a little more complicated than others I have helped install in the past.
So far, I have worked through somewhere between a dozen and 20 phone calls or emails.
Next, I will try a general contractor who has been recommended to me by a friend. Someone more handy than myself, and less expensive than a surgeon – or a plumber who thinks he’s one.
I go through all of this for a lousy backup sump pump. Well, it’s not really lousy. It’s highly rated. But in the scope of the cosmos, it is incredibly unimportant.
That got me to thinking about prayer – especially about persistence in prayer.
I think that because we ask God for something, we often expect him to give it to us. Right away.
It doesn’t always work.
Sometimes there’s a need for persistence, and perhaps a value to persistence.
Jesus seemed to say so.
In a little ditty of a parable Jesus talked about a man who went to a neighbor’s house to get some bread one night. The man needed to feed a guest who had just arrived. The neighbor was already in bed and didn’t want to get up. Jesus said:
“If you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence” (Luke 11:8).
I’m thinking of a lady I know who prayed for one of her children for decades. This child was a wandering soul, a Prodigal Son.
The mom latched onto a promise written by a Jewish songwriter centuries ago: “the Lord will perfect that which concerneth me” (Psalm 138:8).
She kept praying year after year, until the Prodigal finally came home.
Persistence in prayer doesn’t always work out that way. But sometimes it does.
I’m not sure to what extent miraculous spiritual events play a part in the process. But I do know that the spirit of the person praying sometimes melts the spirit of the person who needs the prayer.
Here’s to persistence in prayer, and in the pursuit of the perfect backup sump pump.