By: Nicole Corey
The crowd in the stadium awaits with great anticipation for the next great concert to begin. Seats are filling quickly and the dimming lights indicate it’s SHOWTIME! Knowing a 3 hour concert will knockout her bladder in the first round; she makes her way out of the row, down the aisle and into the corridor. She spots the women’s restroom with no time to spare. Perform the standard public restroom toilet seat hover maneuver, she is finished before the quad burn sets in. All set with clean hands, avoiding the door handle at all costs, she makes her way back into the stadium. Most everyone is settled in their seat. Except one nice lady who calls after her. She turns around and sees it. Oh, the panic! They all have seen it too…
SO toilet paper gets stuck on us. YUCK! Right?! And now it trails behind us. NOW WHAT?
Well, we have a couple of options:
First option, is we ignore the toilet paper. It is easier to go on as if nothing happened. We deny that anything we did could have ever caused such a sight and we disbelieve we were involved in anyway. Which, by the way, although we ignore it and deny it, we have not fooled anyone.
Everybody else still sees it, flailing in the breeze behind us.
Option two: When someone out of love or care approaches us to let us know, we snap back at them. We are clearly the victim here! We don’t know how it happened. Someone else must have put it there! They are out to get us!
Next option: we can address it. Find a quiet, hidden place, look back at what happened, figure out how it happened, and how we can prevent it from happening again. Recognize that others were impacted and seek to make it right with them.
With the toilet paper scenario, those answers are simple. What happened? Easy, the toilet paper got caught while pulling up our skirt. How? We used it and thought it was down all the way, when it was not. How can I prevent it? Turn around and just double check next time. How am I to solve this? Un-stick the toilet paper and dispose of it properly. Simple, right? And who would even think of selecting options 1 or 2? That is crazy!
It is crazy to select option 1 or 2 in life as well. The answers to those questions in regards to life are not so simple, but the same questions apply. We must not shy away from asking ourselves and others these questions and often.
Now it is your turn. In your journal, consider what is on the toilet paper trailing you:
How did it happen?
How can I prevent it from happening again?
How am I to solve this?
This is an opportunity to face what is behind you and address it. So many times the way we act, react, or behave is destructive. Destructive to ourselves and others. It must be addressed, if otherwise ignored or buried with our standard go-to brain numbing activity or substance, we will always find ourselves stuck, unable to move forward in the marriage, friendship or work.
After we understand, we apply the solution.
And apologize to those it impacted (it may have been worse for them than seeing a little toilet paper behind you). And then, hopefully next time, we notice it sooner, or better yet, prevent it in the first place.
Finally, we wash our hands of it. How? The blood of God’s Beloved Son, Jesus, cleanses us of all sin. If we confess our sins, we will be forgiven and cleansed of our sin. We do not have truth in us and we deceive ourselves if we say we have no sin (1 John 1:7-9).
We must resist the temptation to stay in the past. Yes, it happened, yes, people saw it and know about it, yes it was embarrassing, yes it was painful, yes, you thought it would kill you (not talking about toilet paper here). But we all are ok now. Also, resist jumping straight to this step before answering the above questions.
Dispose of that paper towel, and exit the restroom with your head held high.
With dirt and muck in our own lives, it is easier to select option one or two.
Instead, breathe, reflect, question and pray:
Lord, Help me understand what happened and why I acted or behaved the way I did. Please forgive me. Help others to forgive me and give me the boldness to apologize for hurting them. Help me to forgive the other person who hurt me too. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.
“Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” Hebrews 10:22