Saturday, January 28, 2012

How to Iron

Our iron and I have a love-hate relationship.

I use the thing a lot, of course, because of my sewing. And it's a very handy invention. I'm glad I don't have to stand over a hot stove every time I want wrinkle-free clothing or smooth fabric.

But I really can't stand our iron.

It's fussy. Nit-picky. Spits at me. Lets loose a puddle ...right on top of the skirt I'm ironing and want to wear to church in 30 minutes.

At first, I thought it was just him. Couldn't behave. Was defective.

A tiny part of my brain started beating me over the head with certain phrases I had read in the instruction manual for the thing. Specific instructions on how to fill the iron with water - and how NOT to fill it.

But our old iron - bless its dear departed machinery - could be filled with water at any time and any way and work just fine. Never ruined moisture-sensitive fabric. Never spit out rust-colored droplets on my white shirt. Why couldn't our new iron be just as friendly? It's new after all! High tech. Who care about instructions?

What's so hard about putting water in an iron, anyway? You just pour some in, being careful not to overfill, and wala! You're done. Why must the iron be unplugged? And why must it be cold? And why must it be sitting on a perfectly level surface?

I compromised. "Fine. When I run out of water in the middle of an ironing session, I'll unplug you before I refill you. But as for letting you cool and setting you face-down before filling Not happening. I'm in a hurry. I'll dump it in while you're sitting upright, and it's not too important to shut the "steam" switch off while I'm filling you, either."

He said "Yeah, right. If that's the way you feel, see what kind of results you get. How would you like a puddle of warm water leaking through the ironing board onto your bare feet?"

Actually, he didn't say that. And I didn't talk to him, either. I'm not that far gone. But I thought it. And I'm almost positive he thought it too. ...No, I can't lie. I do know irons don't think.

But on with my story. I finally got fed-up and desperate, and decided to do everything according to the book. Steam switch "off." Iron cool and unplugged. Sitting face down on a level surface. Water poured into spout at correct angle. Lid flipped closed. Iron plugged in. Heat turned "on." Iron heats up. Steam switched "on."

Big breath.

Ironing begins.

Iron spits NOT.

Clothes get steamed perfectly.

Amber sticks tongue out at iron.

...No, that part is a lie. Actually, what Amber did was sit the iron down and think to herself that she's a lot like that little machine. She's been given specific instructions on how to operate herself, and she doesn't bother reading the book. She fills herself with water, of course, but at her own pace and on her own terms. She doesn't bother to slow down and fill herself properly, and she sure doesn't humble herself face-down to receive that water. She likes to take it standing up, on the go, when she wants it.

And then I think that iron stuck his tongue out at me.

Aren't we like that, though? God has given us everything we need for life and godliness, in His Word. His Word is so precious that we cannot live life properly without it. Like an iron without steam. Many of us realize that, yet want to use His Word on our own terms, at our own pace. He didn't just give us His Word, then walk away - anymore than we would give a sharp sword to a child and tell her to go play. He has given us instructions on how to use it:

We are to be doers, not hearers only.
We are to meditate on it day and night.
We are to treasure it.
We are to obey it.
We are to receive it meekly.
We are to believe it.
We are to READ it. Often.
We are to hide it in our hearts.
We are to hear it.
We are to teach it to others.

Can you think of any other ways we are to use the Word of God? Any other commands? Any thoughts you'd like to share on the topic?

By the way, thank you for all the congratulations on the arrival of my nephew. We went to see him yesterday (again!) and I have to say I just adore cuddling him.

But...anyway...thoughts on an iron. Who knew you could be taught a lesson from an appliance? An enemy appliance, at that. :)


Amanda said...

So That is what is wrong with my iron! I've been struggling with it for months. :)

Your analogy was great, very, very true. Thank you.

julia said...

Good analogy, I always enjoy your blog :) I've been having trouble with my irons too recently... my thrift store irons have all died so I had to find another one. I use mine all the time for sewing, so it had to be a good, reliable one. I actually read the instructions on how to fill it etc. and am going to try my hardest to obey them :) Out of curiosity which iron did you get? I got the Panasonic U-Shape Steam Iron NI-E650TR on Amazon and so far its worked pretty good so far.

Amber said...

Julia - our iron is a Sunbeam brand, but I don't know the model. I have been very impressed with it every since learning to use it properly. It is a heavy-duty iron, and steams really well when it is filled correctly. :) It also heats up quickly, which is another plus in my book. :)