Bless This Toilet…

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God…

            Philippians 4:6

            Oh Lord Jesus, please let this work…

            I hate felt toilet seals.

            They use ‘em for the back of wall-mounted toilets, to seal up the connection between the toilet and the wall. They suck. They always leak and I hate them. Any plumber in his right mind will use a rubber seal, not a felt one.

            But we didn’t have a rubber seal. So I stuck the felt one on and connected the toilet to the wall, praying fervently as I did. And, miracle of miracles, the darn thing actually worked. I couldn’t believe it.

            “Of course it worked,” retorted my boss, in response to my prayer of surprise. “You prayed for it to work, didn’t you? God always listens to you. He don’t me, though.”

            Prayer has always been my second biggest struggle as Christ’s disciple. (The first is getting along with His other disciples.) I struggle with believing that I’m being heard, that my needs are being considered. I struggle with thinking my prayers will have any effect, particularly an immediate effect.

            And had I had a moment to think, I would never have offered my heartfelt request for that pesky toilet seal to work. I would have felt silly about bothering God with my picayunish headaches. I would have felt that if God didn’t fix my toilet – perhaps to test my faith – that my faith would have been tarnished. And thus I wouldn’t have asked.

            But in my scatterbrained state, I found more faith than I usually do during my more collected moments. Jesus walked the earth for thirty-three years, working construction for a fair amount of those years, and He was very concerned about the day-to-day affairs of those around Him. This is the same Jesus who promised to walk with me ‘until the very end of the age’, and who is concerned about my day-to-day affairs – right down to the toilets I have to keep fixing, because fat ladies keep pulling them away from the wall.

            The privilege of being heard by God, even on frivolous matters, is the unique gift of the true Christian, appropriately baptized and living the life he’s been called to. ‘All kinds of requests’, scripture says to make.

            I have God’s ear, always; such is an honor, and I should bend God’s ear more often than I do.

            Jesus told His disciples, ‘You are my friends if you do what I command you.’ And of course your friends are the first people you ask to help with your projects, right? In fact, they kinda get annoyed if you don’t call ‘em.

            A small part of me is still tempted to feel like God’s desire to be troubled is a bit trifling, but the bigger part of me knows better. To trouble God about the immediate minor headache – as opposed to the distant catastrophe – is to demonstrate faith in a way that is both immediate and dynamic. To get an answer is to see one’s faith rewarded, as often happens. And to have said answer delayed – or denied – is to learn trust, despite appearances.

            Either way, you win. Christ is the Lord of everything, and our desire (or lack thereof) to acknowledge that is laughably superfluous. The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it… even toilets.

            Remind me to ask Him about the silly things a little more often than I do.

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