There’s a broken railing at the widget factory where I work. It has been broken for over two months at this point. But there are some very important paper signs taped to it that say, “Do not use. Broken.”
Well, DUH. The fact that it hangs by two bolts and jiggles when you brush against it could be a clue. But it seems that the building authorities aren’t in a big hurry to get it fixed. That will change the moment someone grabs on to it when they slip and it finishes tearing out of the wall. The injured employee will have a dilly of a lawsuit just waiting to be filed. Assuming it’s not their estate that has to process the court papers.
I walk by that railing twice a day on my way into and out of the building. It’d be easy to fix if you had the time and the tools. I’m thinking about an hour to bore out the hole cleanly, fill it with quick drying concrete or resin, and it would require a new lag bolt in a couple of spots. Temporarily secure it in place with a sheet metal strap that can be removed when it dries and the whole thing is fixed.
The simple fact is that it hasn’t happened for two months because management is used to seeing it broken. And nobody has been hurt – yet.
Our spiritual lives often resemble that broken railing. We have a few loose bolts that we ignore every time we look at them. We skip church, don’t pray, don’t take care of the poor, don’t read scripture (guilty) as often as we should, and we don’t have a personal relationship with God. We spend our time convincing ourselves that that railing between the first and second floors is for other people who “really need it.”
The truth is that we all need to have that railing steady and supported. You can slip and stumble at any moment. While God has his hand out to you all the time in the form of a spiritual railing, if the foundation you’ve built for that railing is crumbling it won’t hold you when it needs to support your whole weight.
I stick to the other side of the stairwell where the railing is bolted solidly into the brick. I try to do that in my spiritual life as well. But one of these days, if I don’t keep those bolts firmly anchored, I’ll stumble and reach out for a support that just tears away with me and tumbles down. Maybe I’d best start repairing that railing today.
Are there railings in your life that have started to pull away from the wall? Where do you need to spend some time in repair work?