Monday, July 19, 2010
The Towel at the Bottom of My Beach Bag
All you need is love. And in the summertime, a thirsty beach towel.
Isn't mine groovy?
Thanks to my sentimental mommy, I still have the towel of my childhood.
Don't you love the fat 1970's lettering, the mod flowers and the doves?
Every time I unfold it, I'm spreading it out at Nags Head, feeling the hot sand under my feet, listening to the seagulls and the roar of the waves. I'm spinning it into a rat tail to slap the back of my brother's legs, wrapping it as a sarong around my waist, or fixing it into a long, trailing turban around my wet head.
I still occasionally bring out the towel to show the kids, and I'll tell you a secret. There are times when I've neglected the laundry so long that suddenly I'm dripping in the shower with only the Toy Story washcloth that everybody hates left under the sink. It's a short streak to the beach towels by the back door, and I always reach for my old hippie towel. It may be faded and thin and threadbare, but it soaks up water like a champ.
Maybe it's the heat and humidity curdling my brain, but lately I've been thinking a little too much about how much I love a thirsty towel. But that's not so weird, right? It's one of life's simplest pleasures, don't you think?
I've got a few towels that look pretty and plush and I hang them out whenever guests might be walking through my bathroom. But when it's time to dry off, they go straight to the bottom of the stack.
I want a towel that does what it's supposed to do: soak up everything ounce of water I've got--not smear it around my body, leaving me wet and grumpy.
Whenever mundane things like towels and clocks keep popping up in my brain, I have to wonder if there's a message there for me.
Could God speak to me through a thirsty towel?
Don't call the men in white coats just yet. I think I may be onto something here.
Maybe God wants to be my thirsty towel, complete with hippie love letters and doves, wrapping me up, receiving my love, soaking up my questions and complaints, my thank you's and praise, my pleas, even my anger, if I need to express it. Like the Wonderful Counselor that Christ is, He longs to hear my words, even though he knows my thoughts already.
Or maybe I'm supposed to be the towel, quick to absorb God's words to me, ready to soak up the blessings, to receive the direction he plants into the ordinariness of my life. I need to make sure that I'm not so busy trying to fit into my world's decor and culture, being pretty and plush, that I miss soaking up whatever God has for me.
I've got to be ready to receive.
Bring it on, God. I'm thirsty!
Is it hard for you too, to pull one ear out of the culture in which we live, to listen for God's words, to watch for God's blessings? How do you make sure you don't miss what God has for you?
Have a wonder-full Monday, y'all!
For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.