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09 April 2010

the useless shower

I remember one typical evening when I was a boy... Nothing special; it was time to take my shower and get in bed. I took my shower, got out and was drying my hair or something, and my dad walked by and asked, "Did you take a shower?" I said, "Yes, sir."

His next question might seem unusual: "Did you use soap?" My mechanical response was, "Yes, sir." I was stunned when he swatted my behind (not too hard -- while something was amiss there apparently was no capital offense) and said flatly, "Come here."

I followed him to the bathroom, where he opened the shower door and pointed at the soap. There sat the white bar of Dial soap*, bone-dry.

Well, it wasn't a BIG lie. I'd done the "shampoo kid in the commercial" schtick and made my hair have spikes and things and wasted time, and that was actually pretty normal. I'd gotten into a habit of not using soap. (I should note that I naturally smell good, so I'm sure no one could ever tell. Plus, I was about eight or something...)

I used soap every time I took a shower from then on. Not only had my dad caught me in a lie, but I realized that I wasn't actually getting clean. Sure, my hair was getting shampooed, but that was about it.

Ever go to a worship service, sing a few songs that you wish the worship leader hadn't chosen, mentally critique the sermon, glance at your watch wondering why the invitation song is going so long (oh, someone's down at the front praying... why don't they take that person to one of the counseling rooms??), stand for the closing prayer (slightly annoyed that the pulpit mic isn't turned on), and as you finally get to leave, remark to the speaker how good the sermon was?

Ever done it two weeks in a row? Surely not more than that...?

Friends, welcome to a useless shower. I wonder if God ever wants to swat us on the rear end afterward.

*I was more prone to actually use soap when the family bought Ivory, because Ivory floated in water where other soaps sank! Who cared if it was in the shower? It WOULD float if I were in a tub, for Pete's sake! If there had been Ivory soap in the shower, I'd have used it. There's a stunningly good parallel to the life of the average church member here, too.


Mindy said...

I have to admit last Sunday was one of those Sunday's for me. I was Easter too! I was too busy thinking about what I had to do that day, the spat I had with my husband before church, and that I had to keep an eye on the time because I had to be somewhere. This Sunday however, was not one of those Sunday's. Wonderful worship, terrific testimonies, and soul-saving sermon! No more useless showers for me. Thanks for making us think about these things!

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