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Today, I wiped the counter of a public bathroom. Didn’t have to. Didn’t want to. Never did it before. Almost didn’t today.

As I washed my hands and turned for the door, the thought hit me, “what if Jesus were the next person to come into this bathroom?”

What a strange thought. Where did THAT come from?

Well, if that happened, I wouldn’t want to leave this for him to deal with.” I followed the thought – “I sure made a mess at the sink. Maybe I can serve someone by wiping up the water.”

Cleaning the sink in a public bathroom – no big deal – which is probably why I’ve never done it. It took a strange question about Jesus to even bring it to mind. But it reminded me of a quote from C. S. Lewis that I read years ago.

People often think of Christian morality as a kind of bargain in which God says, ‘If you keep a lot of rules, I’ll reward you, and if you don’t I’ll do the other thing.’

I do not think that is the best way of looking at it. I would much rather say that every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before.

Taking your life as a whole, with all your innumerable choices, all your life long you are slowly turning this central thing into a Heaven creature or into a hellish creature: either into a creature that is in harmony with God, and with other creatures, and with itself, or else into one that is in a state of war and hatred with God, and with its fellow creatures, and with itself.

To be the one kind of creature is Heaven: that is, it is joy, and peace, and knowledge, and power. To be the other means madness, horror, idiocy, rage, impotence, and eternal loneliness. Each of us at each moment is progressing to the one state or the other. C. S. Lewis


One Comment

  1. Alison and I ran an errand yesterday afternoon. I went into the restroom of the business we were visiting and had this post cross my mind. Because of your words I took the time to clean up after someone else so that the owner wouldn’t need to be embarrassed when the next person walked into their restroom. Jesus would have done it naturally…maybe with practice, I will be able to live more selflessly with less effort. Thanks for sharing this post; it has already been a great challenge to me!

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