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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Willingness (02/21/05)

TITLE: A Place For Everything!
By Kathy Ellis


“Somebody didn’t put the toilet paper on the holder,” the accusation resounded throughout the room.

Joking or not, my friend and co-worker was trying to make her point. That point being: ‘a place for everything and everything in its place’. This is according to someone with an obsessive compulsive disorder bordering on the far side of irritating.

Pam was no help. She just looked at the accusing friend and then slowly looked towards me, pointing her finger. “I think the culprit is sitting right there,” she too charged me with the crime. She was enjoying her role in the drama. The smirk on her face told me she was getting a kick out of this office comedy.

Ignoring their remarks, I carried on with my work and acted as if I had not heard a thing they had said. The word ‘ridiculous’ roamed through my mind and I tossed around the idea of getting angry about the entire situation. Of course, that would make it even more inanely silly.

Who cares where the toilet paper is located as long as there is toilet paper available when needed. On the holder or off the holder is not an issue with the tissue. If the toilet paper is within reach, then I am perfectly at peace. Stack it on the floor! Hide it in the cabinet! Put it in a basket or a box or under the sink! My only condition is that it is dry, clean, within my reach and, most importantly, never runs out.

“Grrrrrrrrr....” I growled to myself, “She needs to get a grip.” No apology or sympathy for my upset friend was forthcoming.

“Well, I’m not putting it on the holder. You can forget that!” she ended her verbal reprimand.

The hilarity of the situation was growing; however, I was the only one that thought it was funny. Could no one else see the humor in this? Could the toilet paper fiasco actually become a serious situation? Was our friendship about to go down the drain?

It seemed so. My friend was obviously very upset.

Thinking it safer to remain quiet and stifle my laughter, I continued to stare with a passion at my computer screen. The idea of toilet papering her house like a gang of unruly teenagers gave me a small twinge of satisfaction.

Of course, it had to happen eventually. That afternoon, I had to go to the bathroom. I really didn’t want to go. The thought of even looking at the toilet paper roll made me want to laugh out loud.

I had to go. The roll sat there where I had left it on the counter top by the loo. No one was going to put the thing in its ‘proper’ place. It had become a controversial object. A war was declared. Mind games were the weapons of choice. The bathroom a battlefield.

I reminded myself that I am a Christian. I really ought to just put the thing on the holder and make my friend happy. Let her have her way. It would be the Christ like thing to do. In my heart, I wanted to do this so I could feel good about myself and make amends with my friend. “But she can be so annoying!” I defeated my own good intentions.

“The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak,” I laughed. Chastising myself for using sacred scripture to assuage my guilt, I put the toilet paper roll back on the countertop and left the bathroom.

A bit later, I found myself back on the battleground, sheepishly holding up a white toilet paper flag in surrender as I placed the offending roll on its holder. War over! Spirit won!

Matthew 26: 41 (NASB)

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Member Comments
Member Date
Lynne Gaunt03/01/05
You told a good story and made a great example of how we can be so stupidly unwilling to live the way God wants us to. I have been there myself - but never in a battle of toilet paper! Thanks for giving me a chuckle.
donna robinson03/03/05
What a wonderful read this late at night! Besides the fact I was smiling through the whole thing, the point you made, and you made it very well, that it is the small things we hold back in stubborness, even when we know it is the right thing to do, is often in principle the larger issue. Learning when you can smile at the same time is great!
Suzanne R03/04/05
It's those little things that often signify bigger things. Mind you, I feel for your friend too ... TP has a place ... on the holder!!! A good entry.