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Wednesday morning I awoke to a basement partially underwater thanks to an exhausted sump pump which retired just as 8 inches of snow melted in our yard.

Seeing this made my heart pound like it does when you get pulled over. I stood, frozen, wondering what to do, as the bottom of my jeans began to absorb the moisture pooling around my bare feet.

Clearly, a roll of paper towels would not solve this problem.

I called several different phone numbers before I reached my husband who, thankfully, was able to leave a meeting to help me. Our work ensued: moving Rubbermaid containers from the storage room, pulling toys from the water, discerning how far the damage extended. I called the insurance company and then the water restoration people and then a plumber.

In the midst of this, I heard all three voices on the other end of the line telling me “We’ll be there in 20 minutes,” or “We’re sending someone now.”

And can you guess what I did??

I ran upstairs, freaked out and started washing dishes!

I was horrified that all those people would see that our normal home was a disaster, on top of the actual disaster unfolding a floor below.

So as my husband carried 30 gallon containers of water up the stairs and out to the grass, I scrubbed cookie sheets, frantically loaded the dishwasher, and wiped down the countertops.

{ pause }

Now friends … what is wrong with this picture??

Our basement had flooded, I’ve got an army of people helping to fix it, and I’m worried that they might see our dirty kitchen.

In that moment, I saw things for what they were: another example of pride allowing my priorities to become completely turned upside down.

I was fretting over the small things.

The non-urgent.

The unimportant.

The minute.

It reminds me of Martha bustling in the kitchen while Mary sits at Jesus’ feet. Her eyes were focused on the wrong thing. Her worries were bound up in “the preparations” (Luke 10:40). I was just like her; I was bogged down in the details that didn’t matter given the circumstances.

How often don’t we do that in daily life? When we make choices about our children or about how to spend our time? Proverbially speaking, how often am I washing dishes when the water’s rising below?

Lord, this week may we…may I…set priorities that abandon pride and preferences, but that honor you.

May we take heed when the water’s rising.