Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray.” Mark 1:35
Something just wasn’t right. You know you never know what you are going to get when you stay with someone. From the bed to what’s for breakfast, well, it’s all up for grabs. That is especially true when it comes time to shower. I’ve learned you just have to be flexible. Sharing the house with my wife, three daughters and a girl dog meant that things could get pretty girly.
Being a man, I use man soap. It might be whatever was on sale, or it could even be Lava—that soap that grinds off the first layer of your skin. One thing was for sure—it didn’t smell like a girl. Then came all these women in our household along with the advent of body wash. It wasn’t long before the Lava, he-man soap was replaced with something that smelled like roses or gardenias. This really causes a problem when you walk into the office and smell like a garden. The guys on staff kinda give you a strange look.
But here is the deal. It didn’t stop with just the soap or even the shampoo. It got down to the toothpaste. Oh, it wasn’t that it tasted like flowers…it tasted like bubblegum. A while back, Judy and I were spending the night with our daughter and son-in-law and their kids…a couple of our grandkids. So, anyway, I survived the sweet smelling soap and shampoo only to discover that I was out of toothpaste. I looked around and gratefully found a tube on the vanity. I didn’t read the label past the part that said, “toothpaste.”
I squirted a glob on my he-man electric toothbrush and proceeded to give my teeth the once over. About two seconds in the process I realized that this toothpaste tasted different. You see, I am old-fashioned. I believe that toothpaste should taste like peppermint on steroids. You know, the kind that when you are done you know you don’t have bad breath. And mouthwash? It’s gotta be the same. I like to take a big swig of Listerine and swish it around for as long as I can stand it…about five-seconds. Well, that day was not like any of that.
As I brushed, I realized this toothpaste was sweet and gooey. It took me a moment before I could place the taste and then it hit me. It was bubblegum. Now, excuse me, but who ever heard of bubblegum toothpaste? What’s next, “Snickers?” I thought the whole point of this process was to clean your teeth not birth a desire to blow bubbles. What is the world coming to? Well, anyway, there was no other option, so I finished up. I went out into the kitchen still kinda wanting to pucker my lips to blow a bubble. And besides that—something just didn’t feel right and then it hit me. It just didn’t feel clean…and I told Judy so. I knew I had brushed my teeth, but it didn’t feel like I had brushed my teeth.
You know, and this probably seems weird, but that is sometimes how I feel after another of my morning habits—my quiet time. A quiet time is when you get by yourself, read God’s Book, the Bible, maybe read what someone else wrote about God and then talk to God. It’s God time to get you ready to face the day. I know it is a good idea because Jesus did it. More than once in the Bible we are told He got up early and went out by Himself and prayed. I figure if it worked for Him, it would certainly work for me.
Now there are some days I know that what I read stuck and what I prayed got heard. Even though I couldn’t see God—I knew He was listening. But then there are the “bubblegum” days. Days when I read and don’t remember and pray and feel like my prayers were just circling the ceiling fan. Oh I “brushed” but it just didn’t feel like it. Just like bubblegum toothpaste. Hmmm.
I know that if you want minty—well, you must get some minty toothpaste. All the sweet gooey toothpaste in the world just won’t get the job done. And if I want to have a God time that is going to make a difference…it must be intentional. Not just a habit but a special time with your Heavenly Father…the One who loves you no matter what—the One who patiently waits for you—for me…the One whose grace leaves us fresh and spiritually minty! So, why not mark your calendar for a time tomorrow when you can meet with the One who loves you the most? Take a moment to rest in Him and know that “He’s got this.” Bro. Dewayne