Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Lessons from the Loo


(From the archives: originally posted in 2008. Revisited for CR.)

Last night we were in some friends' home, when Mari needed to use the facilities. I followed her down the hallway and into their bathroom. Around another corner was a small alcove which housed the toilet.

As I helped her up, I noticed something surprising for a bath motif. Just beside the toilet, in the corner, stood a tall, bright torch lamp. "A lamp in a potty?" I was mesmerized by the notion.

I glanced down at the tile. Spotless. I scanned the baseboards. Pristine. Two primary thoughts were competing for attention in my mind.

 #1 Wow! There's no question that this bathroom is clean.
#2 Wow! I wonder what my "clean" toilet would look like under 100 watts of illumination.

My toilet was cleaned just a few days ago. I swept and mopped around it. But basically, the whole process took place under 60 watts of distant light. I think my toilet is clean. I act like my toilet is clean. I share my "clean toilet" with others. And yet, I've never utilized sufficient light to get an honest assessment.

Our lives are like toilets. Sin is all the filth and grime that comes from willful mark-missing, or simply by too many days of daily stuff. How can I phrase this? Sin happens. God's Word is a Lamp unto our feet and a Light unto our path. His Word shines into the dark corners surrounding our lives. In His illumination, sin can be seen for what it is. We can then agree with God that it is horrible and that it must be removed or cleaned.

As we agree with God, because we've used His perspective to search our hearts, He applies the cleaning solution - the blood of Jesus - which cleans and disinfects and sanitizes and refreshes our souls. And all that disgusting selfishness and pride is tossed or flushed away and distinctly forgotten. Talk about "Mr. Clean's Miracle Eraser!"

As long as I see my bathroom in the dark, it's gonna look pretty good. But if I bust in there with a 100 watt torch, we're probably gonna want a do-over. As long as I avoid reading the Bible, I'll be able to see life goin' pretty good. But when I read God's laws and statutes, and allow them to shine into my life, I'm probably gonna want a do-over. Good news! God is all about the do-over.

Stooping there in my friend's bathroom, I did not think to myself, "I wonder why her toilet doesn't get dirty." or "She must use a better cleanser than me." I just thought, "Oooh, Light! What a great way to live!"

So, in terms of others... There's really no need to convince people that toilets need to be cleaned. There are no inherently, continuously clean toilets on earth; no, not one. And though there are countless approaches to cleaning bathrooms, there is truly only One Mr. Clean - only one Real Solution to the problem of sin. And the only way you'll know the Truth is to live in the Light day by day.

"God is Light. In Him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with Him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin." 1John 1:5-7

"The unfolding of your words gives light...Make Your face shine upon your servant and teach me your decrees." - Ps 119:130,135