What is it, you ask?
How can that tiny, shiny thing cause me such grief? Well, apparently that tiny, shiny thing makes it nearly impossible for others in my home to replace the paper towels when they run out!
I yank off the empty paper towel cardboard thing and place the new roll on the holder. Then I grab the tiny, shiny thing again and give it a few twists in the other direction. And I continue to mumble – often for no one to hear – “There. Now was that so difficult? Good thing it takes a brain surgeon to figure out how to replace the paper towels with this complicated towel holder. Oh, wait! It doesn’t take a brain surgeon – just a little twist of the wrist.”
Grumble. Grumble. Sin. Sin.
Why am I the only one that seems able to unscrew the tiny, shiny thing so that we can have a new roll of paper towels properly installed? Why is it so difficult? Why go to all the trouble to get a new paper towel roll out and not put it on the holder? Do you people think it’s acceptable to leave the paper towels just sitting next to the lovely holder I picked out? Why are these people I live with so lazy? Why don’t they care about me and my dreams and my hopes and…
How silly! It’s just a tiny, shiny thing! It requires a few twists of the wrist. I can give it a few twists of the wrist. I can throw away the cardboard tube. I can replace the paper towels and the knob on top.
And I can do it without grumbling and getting resentful, angry and bitter. That’s my choice!
Hey, I know a paper towel holder is trivial. But don’t we all have something – or somethings – in our lives that trigger us to stumble into sinning, to respond incorrectly, to grumble, to grow bitter or angry? And don’t get me wrong, I have bigger things in my life that cause me to grumble or irritate me and lead me down a less than virtuous path but you don’t want to hear about those. So I use the paper towel holder as a metaphor for all of those other things.
I could create a “Top-Seven-Irritants-That-Make-Us-Lose-Our-Cool” list but I’m pretty sure I don’t need to. I’m pretty sure you already know what – or who – triggers you to grumble and stumble and… outright sin. Don’t you?
Again, I have a choice to make. I choose to chuckle. I choose to “look on the bright side.” I choose to shift my focus.
Instead of being mad that the tiny, shiny thing kept my family members from replacing the paper towels, I’m grateful that I have a husband that likes to cook – and uses the very last paper towel to wipe up a spill. I’m grateful that I have a lovely kitchen and a lovely paper towel holder. And children. And, I’m even grateful for teenagers.
But most of all, I’m grateful that I have a savior that doesn’t grumble and gripe when I neglect to give a twist of the wrist to replace the used up things in my life like jealousy, fear, insecurities, doubt, and replace them with His goodness, His faithfulness, His mercy and His grace.
The Lord wants to
give us “the oil of joy instead of mourning
and a garment of praise instead
of a spirit of despair” Isaiah 61:3
Do everything without grumbling. Philippians 2:14
Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 1 Peter 4:9
Okay, I’m going to go offer some hospitality to my family without grumbling – I’m going to replace the empty paper towels. And I’m going to do it without sinning!
Do you have a trigger? How do you shift your focus?
Note: For those that celebrated with me about finally buying a new bedspread, I have some bad news to report: I had to return the ordered bedspread (it was taupe-y). Last week, I bought two more. Both of those were met with grimaces from my husband. Keep me in your prayers. The saga continues!)