Saturday, September 19, 2009

Flush the Toilet

As I woke up this morning, I laughed. This is only the 22nd blog of my life and I write about whatever pops into my head. God has a funny way of revealing Himself to me. The earlier blog about my biggest Bible lesson actually happened while I was sitting on the toilet reading the "Good News". So now the message is to "flush the toilet"...

Can you imagine how ugly it would be to live in your home with a broken toilet flusher? Your place would become so smelly that you would have to flee. What if all the flushers in the world stopped working at the same time? Would we resort to living in caves (been there, done that...not recommended)?

The sad truth is that for most of my life, I failed to flush the toilet even though this very necessary piece of equipment was in good working order. I just chose not to flush. I am not talking about the toilet I sit on while reading the "Good News". I am referring to the toilet that is attached to the bottom of my soul. It is where all the garbage goes. If it is not flushed on a regular basis, my insides start to stink.

Sometimes, we want to flush the toilet but something is broken and we need to call a repairman. The same is true with our souls. There is a really good handyman out there that started out as a carpenter and then got into fishing. It turns out He knows all about repairing toilets and He always has time when you need Him.

My toilet was clogged for a long time and that's why I had to live in a cave until the repairman showed up in the middle of nowhere to help me. It turns out that my "toilet" was full of anger, hatred, prejudice, guilt, greed, grudges, etc, etc. I wanted to hide from this problem. This "Plumber" told me that the toilet needs to be flushed regularly in order for it to work properly (that is what we are discussing when you look at the picture in "My biggest Bible Lesson").

You are probably thinking to yourself that some of the bad stuff in your soul can't be repaired. The demons inside of me convinced me that some stuff can't be flushed. My third year in college I found out that my high school doubles partner was gay. We played number one doubles together during my junior and senior years in high school. My doubles partner knew of my prejudice so he kept this part of his life secret from me and we often talked about girls that we liked. He was often picked on because of his small size. I will never forget the time our opponents made fun of us under their breath. I decided to nail these guys and when I got a shot I took it. The taunting got to me and I finally silenced one of them when my overhead smash hit the target. I broke his nose and blood was spilling everywhere. My coach rushed onto the court and cleaned up the mess while the demons inside of me rejoiced.

Scott's dad asked me to check up on his son since we were now at the same university and Scott was having trouble adjusting to college life. I went to see him but he was out. His room-mate told me what was up and I became furious. I walked out of his condo and never saw him or spoke to him again. He sent me Christmas cards that went unanswered. His mother called me to congratulate me on my new tennis director job and I thanked her for calling but never brought up her son in the conversation.

One day my brother called to tell me Scott's name was in the paper. He was in the obituaries and the cause of death was Aids. My heart sank. I had turned my back on a friend that could have used some comfort. I attempted to reach out to the family but the phone was disconnected and there was no new number. I learned about Scott's final days when another family friend told me she was in the same support group as Scott. Her son also lost a battle to Aids and both families spent time together coping with their circumstances.

A second tragedy struck when the father, a splitting image of the Wendy's founder, died of a heart attack right after his son's funeral. Now two wounds were piercing my heart and the guilt was piling up in my toilet. This broken toilet stunk up my soul for many, many years.

Once my soul was restored, I stopped judging others who are different from me. It all comes down to loving God with everything you have and loving others. I stopped trying to convert people who believed in God but played for other teams in other divisions. Some of the best talent at Zoom comes from people that I used to hate. My managing partner has a strange sense of humor and when a joke went too far, I refused to talk to him for an entire year. I did not care when other team-mates told me they were uncomfortable with my attitude. All of that has changed since my conversion experience.

If you find your toilet is clogged, hire a plumber. Don't forget, He died for you so that your broken flusher could be fixed. Why not give him a call today? It's time to go. I am playing in my first doubles tournament with my daughter and I promise not to break anyone's nose! It feels so good to be out of the cave now that my toilet flushes.

Don't forget to flush!

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