I don’t know how long ago it was that someone built the little garden shed that sits on the concrete slab just three feet away from the north wall of our garage. I don’t know how long ago it was that someone built on the little dog shed extension that turned the whole deal into a six foot by twelve foot affair.
What I do know is that by the time we bought the place in 2015, that shed was in no condition to bear close inspection. I even joked with the realtor at the time that we could quickly raise the value of the property by tearing down the shed.
The main doors had lost two or three inches at the bottom due to rotting of the Masonite-like siding with which the whole affair was covered. The dog shed door was truly ugly. A narrow interior door had been conscripted into outdoor service. Strips of its veneer continued peeling off. A fifteen inch hole at the bottom had so weakened the door’s structure that someone had nailed a small slat across the bottom in a losing effort to keep the door in one piece.
Where wall met roof, a five-foot long two-by-eight on the extension connected to a seven foot long two-by-eight on the original part. Together, they formed an eave of sorts that extended the roof a few inches out past the wall. A two-foot section of that showed evidence of rotting when we bought the house and had shown no inclination to improve over the ensuing five years.
Near the ground level on the north side of the original section, a hole about four inches wide and a foot-and-a-half long suggested that the siding might be nearing the end of its useful life. Tearing off the one-by-eight that ran along the entire perimeter of the shed at the bottom provided dramatic evidence that it was time to replace all of the siding.
The lowest few inches of old simulated reverse board and batten siding was nothing but biologically processed by-product; it looked like dark brown dirt. That piece of horizontal trim had trapped moisture and hidden the damage. When I removed the siding, there was a clear termite trail running from the base up a two-by-four stud to that rotted piece of two-by-eight. Even though there was no evidence of recent activity, it was clear that a termite thoroughfare operated.
Why the little boogers decided to skip the studs and grub on the eave board is beyond me. Perhaps it had a better flavor than the studs. Maybe they preferred the penthouse suite over the low rent units.
It is not always obvious and sometimes not even discernible why those things devoted to destruction choose the targets they choose. What is eventually rather obvious is that left unchecked, those things will not stop until the structure has been destroyed.
I think that’s why God urges us to be so vigilant about guarding our hearts.