Rankin File

Ruminations, fulminations, and cogitations on the spiritual life

My Dirt Doesn’t Bother Me

In my haste to get out of the office shortly before Christmas, I left a quarter-full coffee cup sitting on my desk. A week later when I went to the office to climb back in the work saddle, there was the cup with a thick slab of dried coffee in the bottom. Off to the bathroom I went to clean things up.

It was amazing how many rinses it took to get all the sludge out of that cup. And that’s when I thought, “You know, if I were in someone else’s office watching this process, I’d be a little grossed out.” Then came the next thought, “My dirt doesn’t bother me nearly as much as someone else’s dirt.”

Last Friday, Joni and I met halfway between our work places to pick up a part for a home bathroom project. We decided to make it a date and go for dinner. Now, you need to know that I’m culinarily challenged. I eat what’s put in front of me. I like pretty much everything I eat. I’m not very picky or discriminating. And I promptly forget what we just had after we eat. I’m a happy, but quite dull, don’t-notice-much eater. Sadly (for my wife), I’m married to something of a gourmet cook, who loves to try new things and who really, truly gets the chemistry of cooking.

OK, back to the date. Joni suggested that we go to a new Japanese Steakhouse that she had spotted not far from the national chain home repair/building/supply store we had just frequented. So off we went. The restaurant was brand new, so new, in fact, that they didn’t have their liquor license (ergo, no saki after dinner). We sat, as people do in Japanese steakhouses, with total strangers, at a big cooking station with seats surrounding it.

That’s when we started noticing – the place wasn’t very clean. The cook station was slightly dirty from the previous meal: little bits of rice back up under the edge of the grill, a stray pea, a sticky spot on the floor under my feet. Our cook was good. He was funny. (He was also Mexican, not Japanese. I love this country.) But somehow, the food just didn’t taste quite right. We didn’t relish the meal like we would have had we gone to the other place where we’ve been before. As we left Joni said, in that philosophical tone, “Well, I’m glad we tried it, but the next time we want Japanese, I probably won’t recommend we come here.”

My nasty coffee cup didn’t bother me at all. A less than perfectly clean restaurant made my gullett a little jittery.

I don’t really mind my dirt. Now yours…? Hence, my problem. I’m so thankful Jesus isn’t squeamish like I am.

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January 7, 2008 Posted by | Christian Spirituality | 4 Comments