After I'd just written a post about my bathroom, the events of this morning conspired to prevent me from taking a shower. Nothing was wrong, really; I just wasn't able to bathe before I needed to be dressed and out and about. I'd taken a shower yesterday morning; I wasn't disgustingly dirty or stinky. I just wasn't freshly clean.
By midday I felt sticky and itchy. Oh, how I wanted to smell fresh and soapy. I longed for my skin to feel smooth and satiny. I coveted a deep breath of the aroma of freshly-laundered towel. I was cranky.
So I took myself off to my nice, big, clean shower. I stood under the steady stream of steaming hot water. I lathered up lavishly with my lovely body wash. All was right with my world again. "Boy, I'm thankful for a good shower," I thought to myself.
And then it hit me: the ugly truth, right square between the eyes. Actually, I'm not at all thankful for a good shower. To tell the truth, I rarely give it a second thought. Only on a day when I was prevented from having it at the usual time did I stop to realize that it's a blessing.
How many, I wondered, how many busy mothers just like me would love to be able to bathe once a week? Even once a month?? How many would give nearly anything to stand in a shower of clean, hot water? How many would consider it the height of indulgence to wash their bodies with the soap I use every day?
I am struck by the fact that this everyday blessing which I take so lightly is actually a great luxury. I think wryly to myself that there's nothing wrong with me that a flood or fire wouldn't cure. And then I wince at the knowledge that there are many who have endured flood or fire or even worse, while I sit here securely in my nice snug house.
Thanksgiving? Dear God, what would I have left if I were to lose all the things for which I never stop to give thanks? I think I must begin my prayer of thanksgiving with one of confession.
I want my perspective to change. I need my perspective to change. Dear God, I confess my poor attitude, my thankless heart, my ungrateful spirit. Change me, Lord. Please.
Have mercy upon me, O God,
According to Your lovingkindness;
According to the multitude of Your tender mercies,
Blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
And cleanse me from my sin.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence,
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.
Psalm 51: 1-2; 10-12
How about you? Are you, like me, grateful for another chance to be grateful?