Saturday, February 17, 2007

The basement shower

I feel clean now, and that is a glorious feeling. I have spent the better part of the day with a thin layer of grime covering my body, and I cannot put into words how glorious it feels to wash it away. I spent the night at my parents' house last night, and woke up this morning with the intent of heading home after spending some time with my family. Being very particular about showers, and generally preferring to shower only in my own shower if it is at all possible, I opted to wait until I got home to shower. I can tolerate a certain amount of uncleanliness, if I know I will soon be able to shower at my own place. I'm a bit of a shower snob, I guess you could say.

However a shower at home was not to be mine, and I was tired of feeling grimey. I needed to be cleansed.

I utilized the basement shower at my parents' house to accomplish this. I am trapped in Bellaire right now, a victim of a northern Michigan winter. I want to be home, in my own apartment, where I would be able to sleep in my own bed. It is nights like this that make me remember ever so clearly why I hate northern Michigan, and why I would leave in a heartbeat if the right opportunity came along. Of course, I say that now, but I would probably not be so cavalier about it if I were to be given such an opportunity. There are things about this place that I love...more than the things I loathe...and it would be difficult to tear myself away from those things.

But, I digress. Back to the shower.

I think everyone who has a basement should have a basement shower. There is something very stark and poetic about the basement shower. In its own way, it does put life into perspective. The basement shower tends to be very simple, assuring that your need for a clean shower, soap, shampoo, a wash cloth, and a towel are met. The basement shower rarely houses the fifteen varieties of shampoo you may find in the every-day shower, not to mention the assortment of body wash...each serving to pamper your skin in a different way, with a different fragrance. The basement shower does not offer such complications. The basement shower, finding glory in simplicity, often offers you one thing...that being, a way to get clean.

I wonder how much easier my life would be if I were to use the same approach. Rather than complicating life with seeing fifteen varieties of truth in the every day, instead seeing only what life has handed me, and enjoying it for what it is. I often blame it on my Pentecostal upbringing, but I have this bad habit of attaching spiritual significance to things that, in truth, aren't all that significant. This has brought so much confusion into my life, and a lot of pain. How much easier life would, in fact, becoming...with the "basement shower" philosophy. Life doesn't have to be so hard. In fact, I would say God never intended for it to be that way. I often wonder what He thinks of how complicated some of us make life. God gave us life for the purpose of being lived. I don't think He ever intended for us to live in the bondage of over-spiritualism, slaving under the tyranny of a delusional faith.

I don't know exactly what you mean by your "bad habit of attaching spiritual significance to things," but allowing your basement shower to serve as a spiritual analogy of the simple life is good.

The contemplative person sees truth everywhere, even in the basement. (Judging by His parables, I am confident Jesus would do the same.) The person distracted by the chemical fragrances and conditioners of life cannot appreciate the simple power of Jesus' Living Water.

It is no wonder the Lord did not choose things like fillet mignons and Calgon to pamper us for the sacraments. Rather, at the Lord's Supper we use mere bread, and we are baptized in plain water.

I need to get off the computer now. I'll be leaving for church soon, so I need jump into the shower.
In discussing my bad habit of attaching spiritual significance to things, I am referring to events or incidental things that are just life happening, not God sending a sign. As you said, truth is everywhere, as God has left us many markers along the path to reassure us we are going the right direction. However, I think there is danger in looking at those sign posts and interpreting them as being more than what they are. While I do not believe in mistakes in life, and I do not believe we could ever screw things up so badly that God's grace can't cover it, I have seen in my own life where making decisions based on "signs" can lead to a lot of pain and confusion.


I didn't go to church today, and I haven't taken a shower yet. I know...Bad Christian. ;)
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