What a backwards shower curtain taught me

Every morning as I drag myself out of bed, and stumble to the shower, I can always count on the predictable smile that will soon light up my face.

It isn’t the the hot water – though that helps.
It isn’t the 10 minutes of relative peace and quiet – though that’s relished.
It isn’t even the dedicated time to pray – though that lifts my soul.

No, what brings a smile to my face every morning is something rather incidental, much in need of being washed, quite faded and even a little torn.

It’s my shower curtain.

If you’re puzzled and a little confused as to why a dirty, faded, torn shower curtain brings a smile to my face, let me tell you something else about it.  The shower curtain is hung backwards.  The “pretty” side faces into the shower stall, and the “ugly” side with all the seams, faces out.  Confused?

Let me tell you why this dirty, faded, torn, backwards-hung shower curtain makes me smile.  There are actually two reasons.

Firstly, my husband hung it that way.  The first time I saw it hung up backwards, I admit to being annoyed and slightly angry.  But, then I realized that John had, on his own, taken the time to hang the shower curtain after it had been washed.  Being of rather short stature, hanging a shower curtain can be rather challenging for me.  And so, John’s selfless, kind act blesses me every morning, even if it is backwards.  So as I smile about the backwards-hung shower curtain, I’m reminded to pay closer attention to the intent and motivation of people’s actions, and less to the final outcome.

Secondly, as I shower, I get to enjoy the “pretty” side of the shower curtain.  When the curtain is hung correctly, so as to decorate the view everyone else sees, the inside-the-shower-view is rather ugly.  Enjoying the decorated inside view, I am reminded continually of another important life lesson.  Far too often, I’m tempted to focus my time, attention and money on fixing up and decorating my outside – the view that everyone sees.  When schedules get busy, and time is tight, those activities and pursuits critical for my “insides” such as prayer, Bible reading, journaling, and drawing close to God, often get ignored and left undone.  Standing in the shower, with the inside, rather than outside decorated, I’m persuaded of the critical importance of focusing first on the inside.  It’s a great perspective with which to start my day.

With the evening activities drawing to a close, I shall soon head to bed for some much-needed rest.  And when the alarm goes off tomorrow morning, I’ll start fresh, rejoicing that His mercies are new every morning, and smiling joyfully in the shower, reminded of two important life lessons taught me by a backwards shower curtain.