Several years back, this item appeared on a Payleitner family shopping list: “shower curtain for the boys’ bathroom.” It would be nothing fancy or extraordinary. Our four boys were past the age of teddy bears and cartoon monkeys, so the goal was simply to keep the water off the bathroom floor.
What we ended up purchasing turned out to be a fantastic, mind-expanding addition to their educational and spiritual well-being.
We found it at Bed Bath & Beyond. For less than twenty bucks. A clear shower curtain with a visual representation of all 190-plus countries on the planet. It was an easy and obvious purchase.
Suddenly, every shower became a geography lesson. While they lathered and rinsed, the boys would notice how three fairly large western states bordered the Pacific Ocean and fourteen smaller states bordered the Atlantic. They identified for themselves the boot of Italy, the expanse of the former Soviet Union, the Mediterranean and Red Seas, and the islands of Iceland, Ireland, Madagascar, Cuba, and Tasmania. The idea of continental drift started to make sense as they saw how Africa seems like it could have once fit into the Caribbean.
Most importantly, the six-foot-wide shower curtain served as visual proof that a world exists beyond their own neighborhood.
That’s a concept we all need to grasp. If that lesson starts with a colorful shower curtain, that’s not a bad thing. The question is, How do we use this new information?
For some it could mean praying intentionally for lost people in faraway places you will never visit in this life. For others that might mean packing up your belongings and moving to one of those brightly colored spots on your shower curtain.
All of us need to reflect on the first six words of a scripture verse you know so well, “For God so loved the world. . . ” That’s a big idea.
As our minds attempt to grasp the idea of God’s love covering 8,000,000,000 people, a humility should wash over each of us. In one sense, we’re each just a speck of dust. But God’s love gives us purpose. His heart is big enough to love you, me, and every one of our neighbors on the planet. And he wants us to do the same.
A multicolored world map shower curtain probably doesn’t fit the decor of your master bathroom. Maybe you don’t even have a shower. But you do have room in your home for a globe, wall map, or world atlas. Next time you start to feel like the world revolves around you, spin that globe, study that map, or flip through that atlas.
If you start to feel small, that’s okay. Just remember you have the ability and responsibility to plug into the power that created not just the world but the entire universe.
Think big. Think small.
The above excerpted from my recent Harvest House book, What If God Wrote Your Shopping List?