I Made a Mistake
This week I have had to have a trip out to a town called Abrantes. It’s a 40-minute pleasant drive southeast of Tomar. I needed to go to a particular store to get a tool to help me fix a mistake that I made last year concerning water pipes in the lower flat here at Caminho da Cruz, in Brasoes, Central Portugal.
Our drive took us, that’s me and Bertie my dog, through rolling hills of the beautiful Portuguese countryside. The open roads led through villages with pretty whitewashed cottages each with their own adorning of brightly coloured flowers, against a scenery of olive green foliage splattered against the orange-brown stony clay.
We stop at a track overlooking the stunning Castelo de Bode, a 400m wide, 110m high, hydroelectric dam, built across the Tagus River, on one side providing a 60 km reservoir that’s popular for all water sports and outdoor activities and on the other providing the national grid with electricity using natural resources. We venture down the track for a while to stretch our legs and take in the view.
The heavy scent of menthol, mixed with wild juniper and pine is invigorating and refreshing to the senses. The menthol is from the Eucalyptus tree which thrives in this habitat. Its tall, char blackened poles shoot skywards faster than the other natural trees, ensuring that it gets the direct sun, whilst the roots burrow deeper than its smaller competitors searching for the soil nutrients and water supply. The healthy, sweet aromas of the forests and enormous views seem to quicken our appetite. Thankfully I have packed us a light picnic, I have a cheese and pickle sandwich whilst Bertie has a whole tin of hot dog sausages, then we are back on our way home with our newly acquired tool.
My mistake involved the connecting up of new pipes to the existing underground water pipes, to install new plumbing into Flat 1 of 5. It needed a new main feed supply and new vertical pipes and stops to the kitchen sink, water boiler, bath, toilet, washbasin and external tap. It was a painstaking task on my own as the stop tap is outside, around a corner and up some steps.
Each new pipe connection needed to be pressure tested with a visual inspection for leaks, fit the next section with a temporary stop then go outside, around a corner and up some steps to turn the water on. Then go back down the steps, around a corner, back inside and check for leaks, then move on to the next piece of pipe, and so on it went, until I was satisfied with all the new connections that none of them leaked. It was a lot of work single-handed but I was really pleased when I had finished and it was ready for the boiler, kitchen sink, bath, sink and washbasin to be fitted.
Roll on to this year and I am then ready to do the final fitting for all the plumbing works which involved connecting up the kitchen sink taps and running the boiler, now that I have fitted a flue.
I pressure tested the whole system again this time checking it as a whole, by just turning the water on to Flat 1 and making sure the water meter stays still. To my horror it is turning, I go around every joint, connection and tap, there are no visible leaks! I run some taps to release any airlocks but the meter is still turning and it’s quite a leak. The leak must be underground and I have tiled all of the floors. I made a stethoscope out of a plastic funnel, some tubing and a balloon and listen along some of the potential routes of the underground pipes.
In the kitchen I heard the water moving under the base units I had built so I had to jackhammer the floor up and expose the pipework when I found 3 different points that it could be leaking. After repairing these, it had still not solved the leaks completely, the next possible place it could be leaking was anywhere under an office or three bedrooms all with new floor tiles!
I have always despaired with myself when it comes to making mistakes, how to cope with going back over work that has already been done. If only I had checked it at the meter before I had done all of this work I kept telling myself. I was now left with the unenviable task of breaking up the newly laid tiles in the vain hope of finding the leak or starting the plumbing all over again. I started again.
I put a new above-ground supply to the kitchen and bathroom and had to cut through all the external walls of the bathroom to install it. It’s been a setback, but it was my mistake and it’s not the first mistake that I have made neither do I think that it will be my last.
I was reading this week about a Christian pastor whose mother was a Christian but did not believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. I was shocked when I was reading this article thinking “How could a Christian not believe in the resurrection, what do you actually believe then? As without the resurrection, there is no faith, no hope, no eternity”! I thought of what a mistake this lady was making, her whole life wasted and why is her pastor son not doing everything he can to rectify her mistake that will have terrible consequences.
I thought of what proof there is in the bible of the resurrection. I have met with Jesus, so it’s easy for me to know that He is real, but putting my own experience aside, what could I or anyone say to provide some evidence of the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ?
Well in modern-day society to prove or disprove something we look to the courts of law and the judiciary system. The cases rely mostly on eye witness accounts. The apostles of Jesus Christ whom all saw, walked, talked and ate with the Lord after He had risen again spent the rest of their living days on this earth sharing the good news and testifying that Jesus was and is the Christ. Even unto death. Not once did any of them say they had made a mistake or there had been a mistake, not once, and here is something to compound that, under almost constant persecution they continued with the truth and here is a list of how they died in the faith of Jesus Christ.
- Peter. Crucified upside-down
- Paul. Beheaded.
- Andrew. Crucified.
- Thomas. Speared to death.
- Philip. Martyred.
- Matthew. Stabbed to death.
- Bartholome. Flayed and beheaded.
- James. Stoned and clubbed to death.
- Simon. Martyred.
- Matthias. Burned to death.
John. After surviving being cast into boiling oil he was exiled to Patmos and died of old age.
These apostles went to their deaths holding onto the truth, the Bible says in Romans 5:7, “For scarcely, for a righteous man will on die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.”
All of these apostles were the closest to Jesus when He walked the earth and they all endured great pain and suffering, never once denying the resurrection. This was no mistake. There was no mistake here. There is concrete evidence right there.