Bathrooms can be hard to make look both pretty and functional. The pipes that make it all function can appear pretty ugly, so it’s become a trend to box pipes in.
However, this comes with a cost. Whether it is the shower body behind lovely looking tiles, a toilet cistern placed behind a wall, or pipes concreted into a floor, it’s tempting to hide these things away, but the cost comes when something breaks.
Tradespeople, especially plumbers, will tell you that pretty isn’t so pretty when something simple breaks, and you’ve got to tear down a wall to get to a part that takes a few seconds to replace, and a few days rebuilding a wall!
In the modern age it’s equally tempting to cover up things in our lives which we feel simply don’t look very nice. We hide them from our friends, and from people who can help us. Shame and embarrassment grow, and our ability to be helped, diminishes.
While some things are certainly an improvement we need to ensure that modern ideas don’t just cover over something that needs some help, or regular maintenance.
So we've just got our house back together after, well, we had a little miniature flood. And the reason we had a little miniature flood is because of something that was really pretty, but really was not well designed.
So we got a tradesman in, and they came and they fixws the problem, and they were talking, quite animatedly, about how pointlessly stupid his little thing was. And, well, it wasn't connected very well, but it looks pretty. And it got me thinking about when I was delivering building materials, and I met lots of plumbers, and carpenters, and electricians. And no matter what field it was, they would say, Oh, this is new, but it's so rubbish. I want the old stuff.
Now they're not lamenting about previous times, through some sort of Rose coloured spectacle, they're saying it used to be a lot easier, and it doesn't need to be this hard.
Now this particular bath, a part fell off. And because it fell off, a part on the inside, that you couldn't see, fell off. And because that fell off, and dropped to the ground, the plug at the bottom of the bath was attached to this hose, that now was actually on the floor. And the water that had been in the bath, while it was being cleaned, came out and went through the kitchen ceiling.
I know, from having met lots of builders, plumbers especially, toilets in the UK, they're really poorly designed now. It's all about efficiency and all that. But efficiency isn't necessarily time saving.
It's a real thing to get your toilet and you block it into the wall. I'll do that again. So you block it into the wall. And then what happens is you make it all look pretty. But then when something goes wrong, and the cystern of the tank is is buried, the builder can't come along and just replace a ball-cock or whatever it is in the modern toilets. Now they've got to rip your wall out just to get to a pretty 50 pence, £1 part that needs to be fixed, like a seal.
So pretty can be lovely. And it's nice to have things all nice, and neat, and boxed in. But at the same time it's not necessarily functional.
So how do you use a plunger? We've got a sink downstairs. It's wonderfully tiny, and it goes against the wall. But you can't physically fit a plunger on it. It looks pretty. But when it gets blocked, and it gets blocked quite a bit, it's almost impossible to unblock it. And in our Christian lives, have we got these pretty bits in our lives that we, we put all this effort and time into making it all nice. Ad we we finish it off and it all looks lovely. But when it comes to maintenance with God, there's, there's so many obstacles before we can get to that, that opportunity to repair something, or improve something, because we've blocked it off.
Let's not be afraid of things that are not so pretty, that we need to get regular access to, in order to maintain it. And that's the same for our spiritual journeys as well by the way!
Let's make sure that we are vulnerable and open to other people, and to God, in order that we can get stuff repaired.
It's nice and easy to block things off. It looks great. But we've got to be careful that we blocking things off, with modern design, that we're not losing the old which was good, just because we want something new.
Just a thought.
Written by Andy B