We heat our house and our hot water with a wood furnace. But in the summer, (what summer we have!), when we don’t need to heat the house, we switch over to heating the hot water with propane. The short of it all is that the hot water tank is in the bathroom closet and there is a smell to the propane. As the propane tank gets lower and lower the smell gets worse and worse. To the point that I’m downright embarrassed to have people over and have the walk down the hall towards the bathroom.
I have made my own “stink” about these uncomfortable circumstances to my husband and our friend, whom we affectionately refer to as our “General Contractor”, since last summer when this first happened. (Because it was our first summer in this house!) And it’s even to the point that I find myself wishing summer would hurry up and go by just so we can use the wood furnace again!
Today, while in the bathroom brushing my hair, I caught myself starting to “stink” again with an attitude about how I strongly do not like that smell or having to endure it for the whole summer! (As if 3 months is so long!) And then in the same breath I stopped and looked at my self in the mirror – my attitude sobered as I felt the Holy Spirit pricking my mind and heart.
Lately on Facebook I have read several status updates that say something along the lines of “such and such happened and now life stinks“, “I have to do this and it is such a bummer“…you get the idea. I have quietly read those comments and so badly wanted to respond with “Life is so much bigger than this or that! Use this for God’s glory not your own pity party!” And now as I stood fixing my hair I realized I was having the same attitude that I have been condemning others for having. The cold water of the Holy Spirit washed over my soul and gave me a jolt!
While my bathroom stinks and it’s rather uncomfortable to say the least, I still have no reason to have a bad attitude about it. While the thought of enduring a bad oder as a means to spiritual growth is rather strange, it’s also very real and powerful, just like the oder!
Standing on the cold tile of my bathroom I immediately thought of how smelling this smell for 3 months of the year can remind me that life is not about me and my own comfort. Learning to deal with the stench actually brings about a growth in patience and endurance of uncomfortable circumstances that, in light of many others, are actually quite comfy.
So next time something happens and you are tempted to join me in the “that-stinks-attitude-club”, I invite you to join me in the “life-is-not-about-me-club” and see what God may be trying to teach you.
He can use anything to draw us closer to Him. Even the smell of propane!