The great prophet, Elijah, learned that seldom if ever do we get direction from the loud or extreme things in our life. He learned that God often speaks to us through a very quiet prompting. "... the Lord was not in the wind... not in the earthquake... but a still small voice" I Kings 19:12. In order to recognize and benefit from what He says we must listen. So, why don't we listen?
Through the years, I have learned plan and to secure more than just one estimate on any given trade or project. So I had obtained 3 or 4 bids to install a new 4-ton air-conditioning system. After reviewing the estimates, I made the decision on a contractor that had been in business in the area for the past 30 years. I also like to review the projects with the selected contractor so I set a time to go over the details with him. Everything went very well and the starting date was set.
During this time however the thought -- a prompting, kept coming to my mind. "Check with the Better Business Bureau, and get references from other customers of the contractor." But I was busy - too busy. Getting plumbing and electrical contractors also lined up was foremost in my thoughts. As well as getting my own work done. And each time the thought came to me it seemed I was either driving somewhere or somehow it was not convenient to stop and write a note.
The unit was installed. I was busy but I did take time to look at it. Which was a good thing. I noticed something. I called the contractor and told him - there was a mistake - the wrong unit had been installed! He assured me that it was the unit which he had quoted. Fortunately, I still had the brochure he had given me, so I told him the unit did not match the brochure. After debating whether he had given me the brochure with his bid or not, he finally agreed to replace all the equipment at his expense.
With the new equipment installed, the men started the project of installing the new duct work and the inside registers. By now, we were well past the 2-3 day original time projected for the entire project. This meant delays in other areas as well.
The duct work was completed. Suddenly there were additional rather important issues that had to be addressed. The central-air unit was 4-ton, yet only 3-tons of air was being delivered to the inside of the house. The rest was blowing into the attic. Improper materials and installation left plenty of holes in which the air escaped into the attic.
Why didn't I listen?
The problem was discussed with the contractor. Now, with this being the third attempt to correct things, this major problem still existed. So we agreed that I would obtain outside opinions from other air-conditioning contractors to see what it would take to right the matter. I did. Three other contractors assured me the equipment was great. But the flex duct (stretching all over the attic like snakes) needed to be replaced with rigid fiberglass duct. And, you guessed it. This would require the removal of the newly installed furnace, cooling coils and duct work.
Much time was passing. Time is money. Why had I not listened?
Needless to say, I was not getting a lot of sleep during this project. But one night when I was asleep, I was awakened at about 2:00 a.m. and the thoughts came to me, "lien release -- signed paid receipt from equipment supplier -- release from his contract -- bonding company." I got up immediately and wrote it down.
I met with the contractor and shared the findings of the other contractors with him. We were now in our 4th week since starting. So I told him I had tried to work with him as long as I could and it would be best that I use one of the other contractors. I offered to buy his equipment at a fair price, and allow him to remove the duct work -- or leave it. He argued that he had paid more than that for the first equipment.
The words that had come to me in the night -- that fortunately I did listen to -- were my next words. I told him that I needed a paid, signed receipt for the equipment, a lien release, and a written contract release. Then before he could say more, I added, "otherwise, we can turn everything over to the bonding company." He assured me that would not be necessary. He would bring me the receipt, lien release, and contract release later that day.
The new contractor completed a very efficient and beautiful job in three days - which ended a 6-week ordeal. If I had listened, when I was prompted to get referrals and check with the Better Business Bureau, I could have saved myself a lot of time, stress, and worry.
Why don't we listen - and take heed? Could it be we are building without a foundation?
"Whosoever... heareth my sayings, and doeth them... He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock; and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great" Luke 6:47 - 49.
When the Lord speaks - whether it be through His word, through a minister, or in a still small voice - it may relate to more than just cool air! So we best listen - and take heed!