Lessons from the Bubbles

Like so many, I enjoy a good bubble bath. At the end of a long stressful day, there is nothing more inviting than a tub of bubbles. I am thirty five years old, but I still take a moment to scoop up bubbles and place them on my chin or my nose. Hey! Don’t judge! It makes me giggle.

Anyway, in such a place, I learn. Maybe it is the moment of silence and meditation that so often escapes me, or maybe it is the inherent need I have to make something out of nothing, but whatever the motivation, there is no doubt that there are lessons to learn from the bubbles.

Bubbles allow me for the briefest of moments to be someone else. With sweeping eyebrows I envision myself as Einstein, smart and eccentric, contemplating the next law of physics. Or, if I apply the same bubbles in a conical position on my chin, I am Abraham Lincoln, pondering the effects of war and wondering if the civil wars of man will ever cease. Then, I take another set of bubbles and lightly touching my nose, I become a circus clown imagining antics and loud guffaws of laughter in my porcelain ring of entertainment. It matters not who I become, only that I become – someone knew, someone different, someone separate from the stress that led me there.

By now, you are assured of my avid and fantastic imagination, so the next turn of thought might not surprise you all that much. Sometimes I have an irrational fear of what might be beneath the bubbles. My dear brother in Christ was just sharing about his three year old and his fear –the thought that lurking under the surface of what he could see were snakes and spiders. After all, all that was apparent were the fluffy white bubbles; ANYTHING could be waiting underneath. I have had that irrational fear, myself. Yes, even at this age. I can’t explain it, and I don’t necessarily KNOW where it comes from, but it plants itself into my subconscious…”what if…” And, that is all it takes. “What if I didn’t kill that spider that was on the edge? What if he actually didn’t swirl down the toilet but clung to the side and waited until the bubbles were big and my view was obstructed and he awaits his moment to attack? What if the spider is not a he but a she who is out to avenge the deaths of her innocent eggs!?” Suddenly, my bath isn’t so peaceful. I begin rushing to finish my bathing, searching frantically for a towel, so that I can get out as soon as possible! No. It doesn’t make sense, but it is the truth!

At this point, I am sure that you are thinking, “Uh yeah, someone needs to call the doctor. This chick has lost it.” I actually have a point in all of this… a lesson…that is the title of the blog, after all.
As far as being someone else: I can pretend and I can disguise and I can even talk with an accent, but at the end of the bath, I’m simply me. Cleaner, but still Leslie. I can’t change that. I have to face the stress and the day knowing that no matter what comes my way, I am who I am…and with that in mind, Whose I am becomes my focus. He is steadfast and certain, and no matter if I wear a clown nose or a beard or crazy eyebrows, He sees past it all to who He created me to be…and as much as it might not seem so, He has equipped me and created me to be ENOUGH.

The second lesson is found in my fear…probably the source of the stress that had me running for the bath in the first place. The truth is, as long as life is fun and exciting and full of entertainment and certainty, I am at peace and fearless. The moment I lose my perspective, and I face what I cannot see, an outcome I cannot know, a circumstance I never expected, my fear rises up, and what once was a solace, becomes a prison of fear. Unlike the bathtub, in life I can’t reach for the plug and drain the bubbles to satisfy my fears…but I can TRUST, like my brother’s three year old, that my Daddy checked the surface of the tub before he filled it with bubbles, and He wouldn’t plant spiders to frighten me. He loves me. He cares for me. He knows my idiosyncrasies, and He knows my deepest fears. When I trust that I love, I can trust the place He’s placed me, and I can know that even if there is a spider in the tub, He will fish it out. He won’t let me be eaten alive, one terrifying bite at a time, as long as I’m looking to Him.

So, I hope you learn from my lessons. A bath is so much more than a resting place, or an exciting 30 minutes of play for an energetic and bored three year old. It does so much more than provide a place for us to be cleaned and refreshed. It is a learning place, if we are willing. What will you learn from the bubbles?

Spirit, Opportunity, and Destiny!

I think that the church could stand to learn something from NASA. No, really! I was diligently searching the web for a recipe of something healthy and tasty for dinner..ok,ok…I was taking a break from writing and wondering how on earth I devoured an entire Almond Joy without realizing it! Anyway, the title of an article on my homepage caught my eye. NASA: Mars rover, phone home after yearlong sleep. I decided to investigate the story behind the intentionally vague title. I clicked on the story link with visions running through my mind of E.T. holding his (E.T. WAS a HE wasn’t he?) glowing finger in the air and saying, “E.T. phone home.”

The article was about the attempts of NASA to contact the stuck Mars rover Spirit. Spirit became stuck in a sand trap in April 2009 causing it to be unable to fully tilt its solar panels towards the source of its life, the sun. NASA has continued attempts to contact Spirit on different frequencies and at different times of day in hopes of somehow reaching the rover to find out what happened and how to fix it.

It is fascinating to me that even though Spirit’s twin rover Opportunity has continued to operate without problems, NASA still cares enough about Spirit to keep searching for that which has been lost. I know another well known “astronomical observer” that cares about the lives of lost explorers, His name is Jesus Christ. In Luke 15:4-7 Jesus tells us how heaven rejoices more over one sinner repenting and accepting salvation through Him than it does over 99 righteous people who are secure in the faith!

Many people would have already given up on Spirit after a few days or months. Most after an entire year. But not its creators! They have remained faithful to their creation! There have been many, many people who I am quite sure wanted to give up on me. Daddy God who is MY Creator and Savior has NEVER given up on me! He, like NASA, is constantly helping me to free myself from the sinful sand traps of this world. He uses every “frequency” around me (media, dreams, other people, prayers, etc) to try and illicit a response to His Call to serve as I was created to.

But what about the church? Have we become too joyous over being one of the 99 that we forget the 1? Do the lost get our words and thoughts of pity but nothing else? Do we give up too easily? Jesus encourages me daily to remember why I was created (to serve and please Him), what my primary mission is (to do my part of the Great Commission), and to see Him in EVERY face that turns my way!

No brothers and sisters we cannot forget the 1! The one in your life that causes you to turn the other way at work, the one who stays in an abusive relationship because she doesn’t realize there is any other type. The one who finds release through cutting because she doesn’t know that her Savior has already bled FOR her. The one who simply cannot accept that those who look upon his tattoos and piercings with such judgmental disgust without even knowing his name or his story could worship anything other than themselves.

I think it is time that the Body of Christ learned a lesson from NASA. God’s Beloved should always remember that while NASA’s “Opportunity” will eventually cease to function, OUR opportunities to serve will not, and while the Mars rover named “Spirit” may very well be dead, we do not have to let the Spirit within us follow suit. Thank you NASA for reminding me that Daddy God’s Hand can indeed be seen in everything if we just take the time to look.

The 99 + the 1= 100% ;~)