Endless Cycle

short circuit
photo credit: Unsplash

The majority of our towels were used to mop up streams of water running along our tile floor. Once the leak was taken care of and the floor dried, I loaded the towels into the washing machine.

The machine filled, agitated, spun a little and filled again. This cycle repeated for the next several hours. We tried everything we could think of to get to the end of the cycle, including shaking the machine and pushing the buttons numerous times.

Eventually we unplugged the machine. It hadn’t been used for awhile and we thought maybe it overheated and needed a rest.

For the next two days we were stuck in this endless cycle. The lid was locked and our towels were trapped. This happened on a holiday weekend so we had to wait until Tuesday to contact a repairman.

The problem was quickly discovered and a part ordered to replace the faulty one. Nothing we did during the past few days could have made a difference when something inside, where we couldn’t see it, had short circuited.

Have you ever been caught in an endless cycle? No matter what you try, a satisfying conclusion seems to be out of your reach. I know it’s happened to me.

It may be that something beyond our limited vision is broken. When trying the same thing over and over doesn’t work, a new approach is needed. I have had to acknowledge the situation is out of my control and seek outside assistance. Sometimes the smartest thing to do is to ask for help.

Just like with my washing machine, the fix isn’t always instantaneous. The waiting period teaches me patience and I have confidence the end result will be worth the wait.

Lest We Forget

Jesus, sacrificeToday’s story in honour of Remembrance Day appeared in my book Dragonflies, Snowdrifts and Spice Cake.

November 11 is known as Remembrance Day in Canada. In other countries, it is called Armistice Day or Poppy Day. This date marks the anniversary of the official end of World War 1, November 11, 1918. As a holiday the day commemorates the sacrifices made in armed conflicts. Countless numbers have given their lives. Many more have suffered serious injuries and great emotional scars.

The sacrifice that so many have paid to ensure a better life for those who followed is overwhelming. That’s why, on this day and for weeks before, people wear artificial poppies as a symbol of remembrance. There’s also a period of silence at the eleventh hour to remember these sacrifices. Many areas have commemoration ceremonies and military parades.

Those who made the sacrifices are remembered and appreciated. Among those I honour are my father and father-in-law, who both fought in World War 11.

While I’m remembering those sacrifices, I need to remember the greatest sacrifice of all. Jesus gave his life so that I may have the opportunity to spend eternity with him. He paid the penalty for my sins so that I may be forgiven. He knew what the outcome would be but carried it through because of his great love. This is something I didn’t deserve. This gift is something to thank him for each and every day.

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.” (1 John 3:16 NIV)

Chasing Reflections

dog, shadowsRoxy is an energetic black lab with a fondness for reflections.

I watched as she spotted a flash of light on the wall and lunged at it. The light disappeared when she got close. Confused, the dog started to back away before once again seeing a reflection to chase. She even jumped up in an attempt to catch this elusive object in her mouth before it reached the wall. This scene was repeated numerous times.

Every time Roxy backed away, the sun shining though a nearby window hit her dog tag and was then reflected onto the wall. When she moved forward, the light was blocked and the reflection disappeared. Her actions not only produced the image she was after, they also caused it to disappear.

While I haven’t physically run at a wall, there have been times it’s felt that way. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is the equivalent of banging my head against a wall.

There comes a time when I have to stop and take an objective look at what I’m doing.


Is what I’ve been chasing real or a reflection of my desires? Maybe my actions are inadvertently causing the blockage that keeps this goal unobtainable.

I may not like the answers, but only honest evaluation will keep me from constantly hitting the wall.