Monday, November 23, 2009

Thank God for Moldy Shower Heads

NOTICE – Today’s post is void of all mention of vampires and/or werewolves! If you’d like to read my Twi-blogs, though, look to the right on the sidebar. All the chapters of The Perfect Lover: How Reading a Vampire Book Brought Me Closer to Jesus are there.

This week is, of course, THANKSGIVING, and I find it appropriate and desirable to talk about that… giving thanks.

My Daniel travels for his job. I believe the totals when last checked equaled over 19,000 miles since the beginning of August. That’s new for us, and it’s been an adjustment, but it’s also come with blessings.

Needless to point out, he stays in many different hotels as he traverses the country, usually in the upper echelon of brands. So he experiences nice accommodations with little to complain about if anything.

One time though, while at a hotel chain that we happen to admire and like, he noticed that the showerhead was moldy.


Not a catastrophe, but… well… ew.

So as he checked out that morning, and the inevitable “How was your stay?” question landed on his ears, he smiled. “It’s not a big deal, but I thought you should know, the showerhead had mold on it.”

Honestly, he only mentioned it to be helpful, to prevent the next patron from experiencing a moldy showerhead and avoid the possibility of that patron having a more… catastrophic reaction.

About a week later, my Daniel received a phone call from the hotel manager, a courtesy call because of the moldy showerhead situation. Again, he politely answered the manager’s questions and reiterated that he had only mentioned it so they would know about it. The customer service of this chain is commendable, but the call wasn’t at all necessary. We’d forgotten about it. Not even a ripple in our ocean of whitecaps.

The next week, while my Daniel was again on the road, I took my daily walk to the mailboxes up the hill from my apartment door. It was a beautiful, sunny day for Fall and I’d had a productive day of writing. I wasn’t expecting anything from Mr. Postman, I never do. I seldom get snail mail that I actually want. But retrieving the mail is my excuse to crawl out of my hole for a few minutes and get the heart rate going a little – stretch the legs.

A surprise awaited. An envelope, the hotel-chain-with-moldy-showerhead logo stamped in the return address space.

Hmmm. Formal apology letter? That’s thorough. Their customer service department must win national awards.

I opened it.

A gift card to one of our favorite restaurants accompanied the letter.

I said out loud, “Well, thank God for moldy showerheads.”

As I walked down the hill, I started thinking about that.

During November, people who haven’t already jumped into listening to Christmas music (not hatin’ – just sayin’) focus on the reason for the Thanksgiving season. Many Facebook Citizens are posting one thing a day for which they are thankful, a commendable, thoughtful process I probably should be participating in. I’ve noticed, though, the posts are always thanks for something positive. This is a good thing, of course, especially because some of us have a hard time seeing the silver linings of our lives.

But I wondered, as I thanked God for moldy showerheads, how often we thank Him for the things that make us say ew.

Our culture tells us to run from pain/suffering/discomfort and run toward pleasure/happiness/what feels good. On one hand, that’s good advice. I mean, if the stove is on, I don’t place my palm flat on a burner, scald my hand and then thank God for it. That would be silly.

But on the other hand, bad things happen… to all of us. And our first reaction is almost always to complain about it, not give thanks.

What if my Daniel had complained about the moldy showerhead? Made a scene? Dumped hurtful and scathing remarks on the hotel employee at the front desk who’d probably never even been in that room? (I’ve known people who’d have sued for less.)

We probably wouldn’t have gotten our restaurant gift card.

My point, this holiday of all wonderful holidays, is to keep in mind that the ew moments of life, while disappointing and frustrating (and sometimes heartbreaking and devastating), could be a stepping stone God is using to bring us something great. We should be thankful to Him for everything. Yes, everything. (Ps. 118:24, Hab. 3:17-19, Rom. 5:3-4)

By all means, keep praising Him for the positive aspects of life. Just don’t forget to thank Him also for moldy showerheads.

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LynnRush said...

I'm thankful for my unemployment. Yep, believe it or not, it's shaken me out of my comfort zone. Scary, but needed. I've been more available to help friends in need of my time, etc.

So, you're right, we tend to thank God for those things that are nice and wonderful, but not the things that shake up our worlds.

Great post.

KM Wilsher said...

Nice! I had to laugh out loud a couple times. Great post, Lori.

“give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

"Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice." Phil 4:4

I'll have to thank HIM for this post to try to think of a negative to thank HIM for. . .I just can't think.

You are so wonderful!!!
(Thankful I'm going to see New Moon with Lynn Rush this a.m. Wishing you were here. . .)