Bathroom Gymnastics?

If I had to guess, you’ve been enrolled in the school of bathroom gymnastics along with countless others in our world. It’s much more theatrical than balancing on a beam or flipping around and between parallel bars. Yet, I do believe it involves some of the same skills that are needed for a quality vault or floor routine!

See if you can relate…

When out and about on a normal day, we find ourselves in need of a place to “rest.” Our own bathroom at home may be preferred, but there are times when one just needs to find a place to “sit a spell” - and soon! So, the search ensues. Is there a business nearby that is open? If so, is their lobby accessible? Do they have public bathrooms? Are they clean by even pre-COVID standards? Check. Check. Check and check. We breathe a sigh of relief - well almost! It's only now that we see the sign: “Only X amount of people are allowed in the restroom at a time.” (Hmmm…how do I know how many people are already inside?)

...and so, the gymnastics begin…

How to open the door? Push inward doors are the best, but a handle is often the case. So, we rummage around for a Kleenex or a part of our clothing to grasp the handle with. Or, if we’re really blessed, we use the foot pull at the bottom of the door or search for our SaniKey to secure “contactless” entry. Whew! Door has now been opened, and there is adequate room to enter!

Upon successfully entering the restroom, we scope out the situation. One stall, two stalls, open doors, shut doors. Push or pull the door open? Twist or turn the lock? Purse hook? Toilet seat covers? Toilet paper? (…and we aren’t even talking about having a child in tow!)

Thankfully, we are able to maneuver the door into a secured position while juggling our purse and/or packages. Miraculously, we've almost made it through our time of “rest” without dropping anything onto the floor. Now, fully clothed and decent, we're ready to tackle the inevitable flush!

Since not all bathrooms are auto-flush, we must hike our leg up so that our foot can push down on the handle or we must tear off an extra piece of toilet paper to aid us in our “touchless” flushing endeavor. (Ok, hold old. This might get a bit complicated!) Assuming we are able to keep our balance while hoisting our leg up high enough to flush - without touching the walls of the stall - we then pivot and face the stall door. Ugh! One more piece of toilet tissue is needed to open the door. But, then, what will we do with that germy tissue? Aha! If we're quick enough, we can throw that simple square into the toilet before the last of the water swirls down into the unknown abyss that we’d all prefer not to think about it. Score!

As we brace ourselves for the next sequence of events in this tournament of exercises, we scope out the sink. Auto-faucet or handle? Auto-soap or hand pump? Auto-paper dispenser, handled or the “jet engine-powered” air blaster that has traumatized many a kid through the years? But wait, before you get your hands wet, what is your exit strategy to get out the door?

Is there a foot pull? Or, maybe the door is propped open. (Woo hoo!) Or, if you use a paper towel to pull the door handle, is the trash can in reach of your two-point throw? Perhaps, there is really no “touchless” way to get through the hand-washing procedure, and you simply need to walk out past the accusatory glances and use your hand sanitizer ASAP!

Ok. We’re almost ready for our final pass. Assuming there is a suitable strategy for washing your hands – for at least 20 seconds – will you be singing “Happy Birthday” two times internally or karaoke style for all in listening range to enjoy? After all, there is normally some fun music playing while floor routines for gymnasts are attempted and hopefully conquered!

If you’re like me, there are days and moments when you just simply have to celebrate making a clear get-away from your most recent rest stop. All the effort that it takes to do the simple things in life, in a totally new way, is worth a solid score of 10 in my book! It’s better than being in lock down, right?

So, what do all these bathroom gymnastics have to do with serving in ministry, encouraging our husbands or growing in our faith? One word…


Change is inevitable. We either resist it or figure out a way to adapt. Think about all the adapting that the Children of Israel had to do in their Wilderness Wanderings or in their time in Egypt. What about the changes that took place in the lives of the disciples after Christ’s resurrection? Whether defined by one-on-one worship of God, tabernacle or temple worship or post-resurrection worship, believers have had to adapt to their ever-changing culture and changes in their particular circumstances.

What is your adaptability factor? Do you resist change or go with the flow? (no pun intended!) Are you just “over it”? I know the feeling, but until we’ve wandered in this wilderness for 40 years, been cooped up in an ark with every animal imaginable or have been enslaved in a foreign country (aka the year 2020), I’m afraid we really don’t have anything to complain about. Not really. Oh, a little moan here or there, but this kind of exercise is always healthy for our minds, bodies and souls. So, let's keep perfecting our skills of adaptation at home and in the world around us.

  • Be creative. Think ahead.
  • Strategize to make the most of your time.
  • Enjoy any moments of “relief” and “rest” when they come along.
  • Hike that leg when you need to flush.
  • Pivot and twirl to reach what’s necessary.
  • And, don’t forget to pray for grace, patience and wisdom.

After all, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun." (Ecclesiastes 1:9). We can trust our Almighty Creator to carry us through one new routine after another until we reach our eternal reward in Glory!



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