My grandson is movin’ on toward maturity! So I’m using up his WATERMELON SMILE Moisturizing Body Wash in my shower these days.
It’s labeled “For KIDS” and is in a brilliant green and chartreuse plastic bottle with Sponge Bob pictured on the front. All this is meant to make clean-up attractive to children. The stuff is sweet scented, almost smells like bubble gum. But I guess I can endure that. I don’t want to waste it. It’s leftover from when my grandson used it.
When my now fourteen year old grandson Jeffrey visits, he uses “SPORT” shower gel with the label shouting “Mean and Clean.” It’s in a jet black plastic easy-grip bottle with a battleship gray and silver top. The matching soap is also battleship gray and certainly strongly scented for manly noses.
Seems like only yesterday Jeffrey was eager to plunge into grandma’s whirlpool bathtub and fill it with purple HAWAIIAN BLAST foaming bubble bath and disappear in its depths to pretend he was Jaws.
Saint Paul described the normal and expected maturing process with a spiritual spin. “When I was a child, I used to speak as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.” (1 Cor. 13:11) My grandson still has a ways to go to reach full manhood, but he is definitely on the way. How he cleans up is a symbol of his progress.
We anticipate children to act like children so our expectations are proportionate. We know that we will have to remind children repeatedly to wash up. There seems to be a natural avoidance to soap and water! Supervision seems to go on forever before they finally take over with their own motivation.
Spiritually we should grow up in relation to personal cleansing which is the holiness to which God draws us. When we do soil our spirits, we need to know how to get rid of sin’s contamination and stench through confession, repentance, and the beautiful and efficacious channels the Church provides for our reconciliation.
It’s no longer necessary to plead with and nag this into-his-teens young man to wash up. He gladly heads for the shower, especially after sports workouts. Big time progress! Then the problem becomes long, long showers! “You're going to use up all the hot water, Jeffrey!” May all of God’s growing children of whatever age follow suit. It takes light to reveal our spiritual spots and blemishes. Let's be quick to clean up and walk in the Light as Jesus provides it.
Saint Paul reveals his heart with his instruction in 2 Corinthians 7:1, “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” This is expanded by Saint John in his first epistle, chapter one, verses seven through nine: “…the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Some of us who are more mature in years and in the Christian faith might do well to continue using that spiritual WATERMELON SMILE Moisturizing Wash if we are still behaving in a childish manner. With the wisdom of our many years, God expects us to be examples of believers and live godly in Christ Jesus. That means to grow up in all ways unto the Lord.
No excuse slips issued to those of us in advanced years!