Some people go their whole lives without getting peed on by a tiger. I, however, am not one of those people. My sophomore year of college, some buddies and I decided to go to a ‘traveling zoo’ stopped outside the mall. We got in my friend’s brand new car right after class and headed to the zoo. Upon arriving, I skipped giddily to the white tent and I was overwhelmed by emotion, and the smell of animal poop, but mostly just overwhelmed by all the animals around me. Monkeys, a camel, goats, and out of the corner of my eye I saw the orange and black striped beauty. A tiger, packing back and forth in his cage. I ran over to the cage and stared at the tiger with my mouth wide open in awe. His giant paws, his green eyes, his tail gracefully danced in the air: back and forth, back and forth. Flick, Flick, Flick. As a cat lover, that should have been a clue. The sign that said “watch out tiger sprays” also should have been a clue. But dang, that cat’s eyes distracted me for just long enough. His tail sprung up, a mist of tiger urine sprayed towards me. Giggles echoed behind me. Complete strangers had just witnessed me getting peed on. I laughed too. Irony, right? Marlie the cat lover WOULD get peed on a tiger. Hardy har har.
I decided me and the tiger were close enough, and I gathered my friends and we left. They were dying laughing the entire car ride home. Oh yeah, remember, this was my friends Brand new car, like It still smells like new car, new. (Bath and Body works? Don’t ever combine tiger pee with new car smell. It’d make an awful new scent.) So, we laugh and laugh and laugh all the way back to campus. I walk very quickly to my dorm room and hurry into the shower. I turn the water on.
SQWEEEAAAKKKKKKKK. *NO WATER COMES OUT.*
My jaw drops. I try again. No water. And again. No water.
I put some clean clothes on and started walking/running down the hall to my friends rooms. I still stunk.
*knock knock.* “Hey, I got a peed on by a tiger, long story, can I use your shower?” I asked several friends, but no one’s water worked. Exhausted and annoyed, I went back to my room and sat down. My friends ran in and started spraying me with febreeze and perfume. I smelled like tiger pee, pumpkin spice and ‘Love at First Sight.” But mostly just tiger pee. As I sat in my chair feeling rather gross and defeated, with no hope of ever showering and thus no hope of ever finding love, I heard a voice.
This is what being stuck in sin feels like.
Then it all hit me. My friends feeble attempts to cover the scent of tiger urine with febreeze was a lot like us trying to do enough good works to cover up our sin. No amount of febreeze was going to rid me of that stench, because the pee was soaked in my shoes, my hair, my skin (gross. Right?) I had to be made clean, I had to shower. Our sin can’t be covered up. We need Christ, we need to be made clean. To try and work our way to Heaven is as silly and futile as me choosing to live my whole life without showering, just spraying Febreeze all over me to cover up that smell.
A few minutes later, the shower did work, and I did jump in! I didn’t hesitate. I didn’t try and clean up first. That was a shower’s purpose: to clean me. Some of us are stuck, we’re trying to clean up first before we go to God. That’s like trying to get a little healthier before going to the doctor, or trying to fix your engine a little bit before going to a car repairman. Let the doctor help you, let the repairman fix your engine, let the water wash you clean, let Christ into your heart and life. He can do a lot more than you can, He knows you more than you know yourself, He loves you more than anyone else in this world does.