I was recently staying in a hotel and was using the shower; don’t worry I’ll keep this clean… get it? Clean? That`s a pun with hints of being dirty; again, a pun. Does it get better than this? Hopefully… that’s sarcasm… or is it? (All this banter; I really need to lay off the Gilmour Girls). While in the shower I had one of the scariest things that can happen in the shower happen. This is not an American History X moment; that`s by far the scariest. This pales in comparison to that. Almost everything pales in comparison to that… ew. Nonetheless, this was still a scary moment for me. While I was scrubbing my glistening body with the suds forming subtle bubbles over my impressively manly pectoral muscles – you’re welcome for that mental visual; and yes, I also need to lay off the romance novels – the bar of soap I was using slipped through my fingers and fell to the bottom of the tub. This grosses me out because the question I can`t help but think is how clean is the tub? I can`t imagine the hotel cleaners disinfect the tub after every user. There`s a better chance of the bathroom being cleaned by musically obedient mice like in the movie Enchanted. Thus, the question remains: how clean is the tub? Because who knows what’s been in there. Several bodily fluid options come to mind; I`m sure they`re crossing your mind as well. I`m not a germaphoebe; I`m a realist, and this is a reality because people are gross (I heard in one country they’re supposed to piddle in the shower to conserve water). The possible bodily fluid residue is of course a major reason why I won`t have a bath (that and I`m a man and men don`t have baths). Having dropped the soap in this mysterious dirt and fluid collector we call a tub leads to the more important question: at what point is soap clean? Do you just rinse it off? Do you have to rub it against other soap? Pray for it? Scream at it? Get your mom to spit in a Kleenex and wipe it? I didn`t know the answer, so the only logical solution for me was to grab another hotel bar of soap and put that one back for someone else to use. I don’t want to be wasteful and as the saying goes ignorance is bliss. Don`t worry, I rinsed it, and not in the toilet… this time; I liked the person I was with.
This drawn out story led me to thinking: at what point are we clean? At what point is a person good? If you believe in reincarnation into a new life whether this world or another: at what point are we clean enough to be rewarded rather than punished? As a Christian, I`ve been taught that people can never be clean enough. There is nothing we can do to fully clean ourselves spiritually in order to be allowed into heaven. This makes sense to me because even if you dedicate your life to helping others; even if you sell all that you have to feed the poor and clothe the naked, we`re only doing this for a reward: heaven. Thus, we are acting selfishly. We are only doing what is considered good for what we believe to be given an even better reward. Everything we can do has some sort of selfish motive, which is referred to as Hedonism. This is why it makes sense to me that I need the salvation offered by the death and resurrection of Jesus. Even better, since God has taken care of making me clean, He wants me to be selfish insofar that He wants me to be as loving as I can be. This is selfish because loving others will make it easier for others to love me, which in turn makes it easier for me to love them. Loving others is a wonderfully selfish thing to do because it makes us all happier and have better, more meaningful lives.
Whether you believe in Jesus or not, may you live selfishly this week by living a life filled with love because that is the true path to happiness and, ultimately, God.