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?