Unpopped popcorn kernels and a penny were too much for our mighty garbage disposal, freezing it in mid-revolution.

What to do?

Call a plumber, which we were about to do when our daughter reminded us of the wrench that came with the garbage disposal. It’ s a type of Allen wrench, but the youtube video on unfreezing disposals calls it a “jambuster.”

Fortunately, ours was in the small tool drawer adjacent to the sink, where I had placed it when we moved in; alas, separating it from the instructions for the garbage disposal. Those are in a bag in a chest in the living room, along with all the other manuals to be pulled out frantically in case of an emergency.

The trick was getting down low enough to get a look at where to insert the jambuster – it’s different than the reset button. (Actually, the real trick was getting back UP from peering into the sink cabinet.)

So, Doug used a mirror.

Handy thing, that  mirror. It reflected what we could not see, so he was able to insert the jambuster and turn back and forth to free up what would not budge.

If only there a jam busting wrench for other frozen things in my life; when the reset button resets nothing. I don’t mean joints. I mean relationships, attitudes, and emotions . . . that suddenly freeze. Usually something small – inconsequential like a few kernels of unpopped popcorn – isn’t where it should be. Maybe it’s just a word, or expression – or thoughtless comment. And such a small thing has the power to freeze forward motion.


A few unpopped popcorn kernels froze our disposal, and turned our DYI adventure into a timely reminder about relationships

We would have been unwise to ignore the blockage –who needs garbage piling up? Just so, I am unwise to ignore a relationship’s impasse or an attitude or emotion that festers.

Being willing to acknowledge the blockage is a good start.

When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves. ~Viktor Frankl

God is often like the owner’s manual I forget to consult; His word, like the jambuster in the tool drawer.

Prayer is like unfettered access to all the youtube videos I could want to repair. And prayer, like David’s in Psalm 139 will show me my part in clogging up relationships, or attitudes and emotions.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test my thoughts. 24 Point out anything you find in me that makes you sad, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

Scripture can be like that mirror, showing me what to do when I do not have a clue where to apply what.

No, I know: some relationships are just stuck, for now; some attitudes and emotions might  need more help, like counseling or intercessors.  But working on problems is better than pretending they aren’t real.  (Matthew 5:23-24)

The difference between the difficult and the impossible is that the impossible takes a little longer time. ~Lady Aberdeen

No, I don’t know how a penny found its way into the garage disposal. My sister-in-law’s comment was, Now, that’s just throwing money down the drain!

Come to think of it: Keeping popcorn kernels and a penny out of the disposal might be my new New Year’s Resolution


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