I travel a lot. There are a few things that always go with me on my travels, like my hairdryer and my kettle. My hairdryer I use for any number of purposes, such as to heat a cold room or melt cheese on my sandwich or – very occasionally – to dry my hair, but my kettle I just use as a kettle.
Like most of my belongings, my kettle has seen better days. But while it still works, it will be put to work.
This morning, my trusty old kettle stopped working. After five years of nearly daily labor, it just stopped. I unplugged it and plugged it back in, but it was still stubbornly still. No gurgle and pop-pop-pop to indicate it was on its way to a boil. No heat. No steam rising.
So I unplugged it, poured out the water, and took a look at the heating element inside.
The element was completely coated in white. It wasn’t supposed to be white; it was supposed to be the color of exposed metal, but it was entirely white.
I had never descaled this kettle before. It tended to descale itself over time, depending on the type of spring water I heated in it. Some waters have more salts added to them, which in turn coat the heating element, while others have less, which flake the coating off. For over five years of nearly daily usage, I hadn’t once descaled my kettle and it kept on working.
What to do?
Should I trash my kettle and get a new one? After all, the lid was slightly broken and the plastic had started to yellow. Or should I use the resources at my disposal and bring the kettle back to life?
Those of you who read this blog know me well enough to know which choice I made. I chose to repair and renew what I knew was a trusty companion that just needed a bit of love and attention and vinegar. So I got some vinegar, added an equal amount of hot water, poured it into the kettle, and waited.
Two hours later, I poured out the vinegar water and peered into the kettle: no more white. The element was completely bare and metallic, just like new. So I rinsed the kettle, poured in some fresh water, and flicked the switch.
Almost immediately I heard the familiar gurgle and pop-pop-pop: the water was on its way to a boil. I could feel the heat, the steam was rising – my kettle was saved! There was no need to throw it out; all it needed was a little vinegar and a little time to descale.
The very important lesson I learned today is not to wait until the kettle stops working to descale it. From this point onward, I’ll give it a short vinegar treatment at least once a week to keep it in top working condition.
Are you like my kettle? Have you become coated with things that make you unable to do the job God has given you to do?
Do you need a little spiritual vinegar to help you spiritually descale?
God’s Word is a descaler as much as it is a healer.
Pour it into yourself, let it sit for a while, and then see what happens!