Let’s begin with a riddle with an obvious answer.
I’m a country. Every “normal” human being comes into that country at least once in three days. As a matter of fact, some even come to that country as frequently as everyday. And one unique thing about me is that once you enter this country called ‘me’, you automatically become the President. Everything you do in the country cannot be challenged by anybody. And what’s more? You can choose to even stay in this country for as long as you want! You are—simply put—‘in charge!’ So…which country am I?
Yeah, right! “The Federal Republic of TOILET!”
Before I gross you out with thoughts about that one place where you release those smelly stuff, just understand that in the context of this write-up, toilet is simply “that place where no one else goes with you to—where (as it were) no one sees you—where nobody is there, except you…alone.”
And as far as I’m concerned, in my extensively simplified dictionary, ‘ministry’ simply means “what you do!” As such, by “toilet ministry”, I’m basically talking about what you do…when nobody is there!
I have come to understand that the struggles every Christian youth carry in their hearts are majorly about things they did when nobody was there. The reason why many people suffer from different addictions is simply because the things they did when nobody was there had overcome their innocence…taking over it completely, and placing a heavy load of guilt in their tender loving heart!
That’s the power of the ‘toilet’ at work. The power of secrecy.
Let me share this little joke with you.
There was this man on a flight who tried to use the men’s toilet in the airplane but discovered it was always occupied. In a bid to help matters, one of the flight attendants told the man that he could use the ladies’ toilet in as much as he would not press any of the buttons on the wall in there. The man agreed to the deal and entered into the ladies’ toilet… He did what he needed to do. After he was relieved as he sat there, he noticed the buttons he had promised not to touch. Each button was identified by letters; there were four—labelled WW, WA, PP and a red one labelled ATR. “Who would know if I touched them?” —he thought to himself. He couldn’t resist. So he pushed the WW button. Warm water was sprayed gently upon his bom-bom from beneath. ”Wow! What a nice feeling!” He thought to himself. ”Men’s toilets don’t have all these nice things???” Anticipating greater pleasure, he pushed the WA button. Warm air replaced the warm water, gently drying his underside. When this stopped, he pushed the PP button. A large powder puff caressed his bom-bom adding a fragile scent of spring flowers to this unbelievable pleasure. ”The ladies’ toilet was more than just a restroom; it is a place of tender loving pleasure!” When the powder puff completed its pleasure, the man couldn’t wait to push the ATR button which he knew would bring him the supreme ecstasy. But alas! The next time he would open his eyes, he was in a hospital with a nurse starring down at him with a smirk on her face. “What happened?” he asked. “You pressed too many buttons” the nurse replied.
Guess you are wondering what ‘ATR’ meant. It was an automatic tampon remover. You can imagine what the ATR will do to a man who wasn’t wearing any tampon in the first instance.
While you freeze that thought, what do you think gave this man the unnecessary “castration” he gave himself? The enticement of the deceit of the “toilet ministry!” This man simply thought to himself— Who would know…?
And doesn’t that sound like a wisdom we all share—a ‘foolish’ wisdom?
- Who will know if I smartly asked my friend the answer to question 2 during the mock test?
- Who will know if I was the one who actually took the money?
- Who will know if I went into the toilet to masturbate?
- Who will know if I’m Facebooking in church while the Pastor is preaching?
- Who will know if I visited a pornographic site while browsing incognito on my phone?
- Who will know if I was the source of the backbiting?
- Who will know we did together in Roots Hotel?
- Who will know that I didn’t have my bath this morning?
- Who will know if I wear clothes my parents don’t approve of in school?
Who will know….???
But how I wish we could see the foolishness in those assumptions together? Sounds like the words of the foolish woman in Proverbs 9. “She sits in front of her house and on the highest hills in the town. She shouts to everyone who passes by, “If you are stupid, come on inside!” And to every fool she says, “STOLEN WATER TASTES BEST, AND THE FOOD YOU EAT IN SECRET TASTES BEST OF ALL.” (Proverbs 9:14-17 CEV).
Seriously? Stolen waters tastes best? Food eaten in secret with the fear of being caught tastes delicious the most? Obviously, something is wrong with that mindset. But unfortunately, that’s our status each time we choose to think the “who-will-know” thoughts. We suddenly suffer from short sightedness.
There’s a wisdom that is wiser—such as Joseph’s. That’s why he could keep his own integrity even when none of the men of the house was there (Gen 39:2b). Obviously, he saw something we tend to miss when we think like that woman. Joseph said to himself “shall I do this great wickedness and sin against God?” Did you catch that? If he wasn’t aware of any other thing, he was aware that GOD SEES IT ALL!
Eugene Peterson puts it in The Message Bible thus— ”Can anyone hide out in a corner where I can’t see him?”…Am I not present everywhere, whether seen or unseen?” (Jeremiah 23:24 MSG). David said it succinctly: ”Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit? to be out of your sight? If I climb to the sky, you’re there! If I go underground, you’re there! If I flew on morning’s wings to the far western horizon, You’d find me in a minute– you’re already there waiting! Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark! At night I’m immersed in the light!” It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you; night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you.” (Psalms 139:7-12 MSG)
So when next you want to “enter into those places you go alone”, do well to remind yourself that even if all eyes are off what we do, some eyes can’t stop beholding them—the eyes of the Master. He’s already waiting for you there.
In a sequel, I will enlighten us more on the “foolishness” in the idea of a ‘toilet ministry’. And I will show you a king in the scripture that literally died because of the power of the privacy of the toilet.
[Ed. Note: This note is a fallout from a message I preached in January 2010 while I was leading The Apostolic Church Students’ Fellowship of Nigeria (TACSFON) at Obafemi Awolowo University. It was a 2-part series titled ’Toilet Ministry’.]