MICHELE HUEY: Venting is the solution
Special-Tea: James 1:19–25
Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. — James 1:19 (NIV)
When we bought our camper, an RV refrigerator didn’t come with it. The sellers had installed a refrigerator that ran only on electricity. Since we planned to do a lot of traveling, we needed one that ran on either electricity or propane gas. We found a used one at an RV place near Raystown Lake, only a two-hour drive, for a reasonable price.
But when we brought it home and installed it, the freezer worked, but the refrigerator compartment didn’t. My husband, fix-it guy extraordinaire, reasoned the problem was the refrigerator wasn’t getting enough ventilation. Which was why the previous owner had installed a 4-inch fan on the back, which we took off because we didn’t think we needed it.
We tested Dean’s ventilation theory the first weekend we camped out in the yard. Dean hung a 20-inch box fan on the outside of the camper where the access door for the refrigerator compartment was.
But when he slid the refrigerator out for the umpteenth time and reattached the fan, it kept blowing fuses. After a week of frustration, he removed the fan and tested it with his volt meter tester thing.
“It’s junk,” he said, tossing the fan on the table. Back he went to the camper.
Now, my husband refuses to let a stubborn problem get the best of him. He searches for a solution long after I would have said “nuts with it.”
It wasn’t long before he returned to the house, grinning.
“I found the problem,” he said, dropping a thick slab of Styrofoam on the table beside the useless fan. “This was in the roof vent over the refrigerator compartment.”
Apparently when the camper’s previous owners had the electric refrigerator installed, the Styrofoam was inserted in the vent for whatever reason.
The refrigerator’s working great now. It just needed to vent. Like me. At times, I need to vent, too, or I’ll get too hot and say or do something I later regret.
I remember a woman whose anger was directed at me one time, saying in lieu of an apology, “Once I vent and get it all out, I’m just fine.”
“So does a volcano,” I said, “but look at the damage it causes.”
We all need to vent. We’re flawed human beings with emotions that can get out of control at times. Tears are one way to vent. I call them the release valve the Creator installed to relieve built-up pressure. Physical activity, such as running or, for me, cleaning, is another.
But we have to be careful of how we vent, when and where we vent, and to whom we vent.
I used to have a terrible temper. Throwing things, slamming doors and drawers, and screaming were my methods of venting. Not very pretty. I’m ashamed of how I behaved. But God has taught me a better way to vent: prayer — and lots of it.
I’ve learned there isn’t a thing in our lives that He doesn’t care about — from the big, life-changing events to the small stuff, like an RV refrigerator that just needs to vent.
Thank You, Lord, for being there when I need to vent.