The Bottle Blunder

by Joanna Pierce on October 16, 2019

I’m a very punctual person. I was raised with the understanding: to be early is to be on time, to be on time is to be late, and to be late…well you might as well not show up.

But, I must confess something. For me to be early (or on time), I’m going to be rushing to make that happen, plain and simple. I don’t know how to operate any other way. This is why I suspect that I have suppressed superpower tendencies because I’m always moving at super-speed.

And that’s why it happened the other morning when I was getting ready for work…

I had just jumped out of the shower and was hanging up my towel, applying deodorant, and brushing my teeth—all at the same time, and at super-speed (PS I believe excessive multi-tasking is another one of my superpowers). I then reached down to pump lotion from a green bottle. This is when I learned I don’t have super-vision.

My green bottle of lotion was sitting beside another green bottle, but that green bottle didn’t contain lotion. When I reached down with the intention to pump lotion, in my haste I selected the wrong bottle. I didn’t realize this until I had slathered shampoo all over my freshly-showered arm.

An amalgam of thoughts immediately followed: That’s not the right color of my lotion. Why is it clear? It’s not rubbing in. Oh my gosh that’s shampoo! Yuck. How did that just happen? How do I get this off? I don’t need this. I’m pretty sure I’m getting angry. Yep, I’m mad and now. Oh man, I’m going to be late…

Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit (I Thessalonians 5:16–19, KJV).

I’m thankful for these verses in Scripture because they’re exactly what popped into my head as I struggled to contort my upper body to rinse off my arm in the vanity sink. Rejoice in this. Give thanks for this. Don’t quench the Spirit. I redirected my focus, and that’s when the ridiculousness of the situation hit me. I burst out laughing.

I realized getting mad and frustrated at the situation wasn’t godly and wasn’t worth it! It was an accident, and probably wouldn’t have happened if I wasn’t employing my self-generated super-speed. It was totally worth laughing over. (How often does this happen to people?) I repented for my attitude and went back to getting ready for work.

In these moments of life, and many others, God reminds us to rejoice and give thanks for every circumstance. If we don’t, we quench His Spirit moving in our life. While the Holy Spirit serves many purposes in our life, one of which is provide an overflow of joy (I Peter 1:8). In a situation, if we choose to gripe, get mad, or pout, we’re halting (quenching) the ability of God’s Spirit to express joy in our lives. If we find ourselves in a bad mood, it’s because we’ve stopped the flow of joy in our lives, not God!

Honestly, while standing in the bathroom with shampoo all over my arm, I’d rather experience joy and thanksgiving in God’s presence any day. It’s much better than the latter alternative. My bottle blunder doesn’t have to be a bad experience, but another opportunity to allow God’s joy to manifest in my life—if I choose to allow it.

If you’ve grabbed the wrong “bottle” today, or find yourself stuck in a shampoo-related situation, remember to rejoice, give thanks, and don’t quench the joy that can be found in Him.