I live in a home with a pool in the backyard.  And lately I’ve learned the fine art of pool maintenance.

We have one piece of equipment to help clean the leaves, and other small things that fall from trees and end up at the bottom of the pool called “Creepy”.  It’s called Creepy because you plug it into a suction and it creeps along the bottom of the pool sucking up debris that’s fallen the the bottom of the pool.

If you don’t do daily pool maintenance and send Creepy in every few day problems develop with water flow, water health, and color (ever swam in a green pool?  yum!).

As I was doing daily pool maintenance, watering the plants, and enjoying the sunshine, I got thinking about maintenance and management of my life in general and how our lives are like a pool.

Like a pool we can collect debris, sticks, and bugs that can clog our flow and if left untended cause problems.  Like a pool we need daily maintenance to keep things flowing healthy and well.  

- Spiritually I know that in order to be loving and in tune with the Spirit of God I need to take daily time in prayer, worship, and in filling my mind with things of God like His word, good books, good music e.t.c.

- Physically I know that in order to feel good and maintain a healthy weight I need to eat living foods, limit sugar, processed foods, eat enough protein, track what I eat in an app and take vitamins.

- Business wise, I need to organize my day, check emails, follow up with the a to do list, and keep the most important things at the top of my list or else I get distracted in 100 different direction..well mostly facebook, but that's more than 100 distractions.

- Relationally, I know I need to be in touch with people who are close to me, seeing how they’re doing, sharing my life and interacting in order to maintain a good relationship

There was a time where I resisted the maintenence of things.

For instance spirtiually I would wonder “Why do I need to spend time alone with God everyday to be loving and effective?  Why can’t I just spend time with Him once a week and that carry me through?”  I never really got an answer, although I feel like I’ve come up with one based on this pool epiphany.

That’s just the way life is.

I could complain “Why do I have to shower every day, shouldn’t a shower carry me through the week”. Well that would be nice if it did, but it doesn’t, and if I don’t shower I’ll smell, and if I want to be clean and smell good I need to shower.

I could complain “Why do these plants need water every day”, “Why does this relationship need time and attention”. “Why do I have to always be concious of what I’m eating and keeping my priorities straight, it would easier if I didn’t have to monitor everything”.  

In the end, those questions aren't helpful, because the bottom line sometimes is that if you want A you need to do B and there's no shortcut or cheat codes.

Maybe it would be “easier” as in less work to just let things go the way they will, but in the end it actually brings more difficulty when the lack of maintenance becomes a huge issue that is going to need a lot of time/money/trust to fix.

The bible talks about managing things well in the Parable of the Talents.

(Matthew 25:14-30 if you haven’t read it)

The bottom line of this story is that what you manage well will increase, and what you manage poorly you will lose.

And it’s not just about talents.  It’s about relationships, health, employees, clients, marriages, money.

Have you ever seen one of those entertainers who has 7 plates spinning on sticks?

They give them a little push here and there and check on how they are all doing to keep the plates spinning, but if they neglect a plate, or just get obsessed with one, eventually the other plates will fall off the stick and crash. Life is like that. 

Sometimes the miracle and breakthrough we are looking for is found in the day to day proper management and maintenance of life. And sometimes we need to put the proverbial “Creepy” into the pool of our life to get all the junk out, get the flow going again and return the pool of our life to good health.