The Toilet

Preschool Teacher: Now class, the water fountain is located right here next to the restrooms. When you are thirsty, this is where you come to get a drink.

Preschooler: But we do NOT drink from the toilet!

The above exchange actually occurred last week during the first day of preschool. The Preschooler was our son (yes, we are so proud). And though his comment has caused lots of obvious laughter, I must admit – I think my son is onto something. I’m not saying he is a brilliant child (but of course he is, ahem…) but I’m thinking that if he can follow his own advice in the literal sense and the figurative sense, then he may be able to avoid a lot of grief in the future. Maybe the mantra for all mankind should be: Do NOT drink from the toilet!

When God created the world and placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, He gave them everything they could ever want with one, simple instruction: do not eat from the tree of good and evil. (“…but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.Genesis 2:17) God gave the instruction and the reason for the instruction. (I note my son never actually gave the reason for “not drinking from the toilet” – but I assume we can all come up with that one on our own.) As was warned, destruction and death entered the world after Adam and Eve sinned by eating from that forbidden tree. But how cool is it that God didn’t leave us there in our own consequences of bad choices? No – he loved us enough to show us grace. Ultimate grace. He sent His only Son to live the perfect life we didn’t and couldn’t to die in our place and to raise from death so that all of us who believe in Jesus Christ shall have eternal life with God. (John 3:16) This quick account of God’s creation, the Fall of mankind, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and His Resurrection/Restoration (available to all who believe in Christ) is the account of what we call the Gospel. And in and of itself, what we believe about the Gospel is the most important decision we will ever make: who do we say Jesus Christ is? But once that decision has been made, I would suggest that God has given us His Word (the Bible) to help us live in this Fallen world. I would suggest that the Bible gives us the perfect instructions for how we work best. I wonder if those instructions might be figuratively summed up in the simple words of a 4 year old: do NOT drink from the toilet!

Most (all?) of us would agree that drinking from a toilet is not advised. So when I see others and myself making decisions that go against how God created us to work best, I wonder why we are “drinking from the toilet” (so to speak)? I am a Christian and as such, I want to live my life trusting in what God’s Word tells me is best for my life. When the Bible tells me to exercise things like patience, kindness, and gentleness (Colossians 3:12), I want to grow in those areas (as opposed to impatience, meanness, and harshness). When the Bible tells me to take care of my body (I Corinthians 6:19-20), I want to do that because, you know, we only get one physical body here on earth. Why would I want to abuse it?

A new school year has started and whether we are in school or just recognizing that across the land a new school year is in session, I think it is a good time for us to ask ourselves about how we are choosing to live our lives. Are we making decisions that line up with how we work best? Or are we drinking from the toilet?

by His grace –