Posted in theology

From the mountaintop experience to cleaning the bathroom

By Elizabeth Prata

And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. (Colossians 3:17)

Philippians 2:4 says not to grumble or complain.

I experienced a mountaintop experience at the G3 Conference in Atlanta. The theme was Worship. For two and a half days I listened to the world’s best living preachers, heard some of the very best of the Christian musicians, met joyful people, sang in a chorus of nearly 6000, visited with a long-lost friend and met many new ones, and shared it all with two glowing young ladies rejoicing every step of the way. Wow.

I came home and the next day shared a wonderful worship service at my local church, sang many of the same songs we sang at G3, and fellowshiped with like-minded saints. Wow.

I have the day off today and I’ve been chortling. Though what I’d recounted above is reality, what I am about to recount below is also reality.

Loads of laundry
Change sheets
Empty litter box
Clean the bathroom

[Cleaning the apartment, the flesh and the spirit are battling]
Why oh why can’t it be like it was, with only joy and just bathing in the Word?
Be thankful you have an apartment to clean. Remember driving in to the conference, seeing the homeless man huddled up in a sleeping bag under the bridge in frigid temperatures? The small tent behind the lone tree, front flap flapping in the winter wind, trying to be inconspicuous in the cold rain? There but for the grace of God go you.

[Changing the sheets]
Why oh why can’t every day be like it was when singing with tears streaming down my face and hearing the veritable voice of angels on stage sing praises to God?
Remember when you didn’t have a bed? Or the years you had only an lumpy futon to sleep on? Be thankful you have a bed with fresh sheets to change.

[Cooking all day and washing up afterward]
Why oh why can’t I visit with people and hear their Christian life stories and we praise the Lord together all day?
Be thankful you have food. Be thankful the Lord gave you enough money to buy food to cook it. Be thankful you have access to healthy provisions. Remember seeing the Quiteno family living on the median strip huddled over a fire? Poor people in India that only have two bananas for lunch?

Why can’t I just read the Bible and learn Bible stuff all day?
Because you have a home to keep orderly and a job to go out and display Christ’s attributes to the wider world.

It’s hard to re-adjust from the mountain top experience back to the mundanity of routine life. I can’t truthfully say that when I clean the bathroom I have the same joy, and I have to be careful not to grumble, but I do give thanks. The Lord is good, and there is always something to be thankful for, whether I’m standing on a mountain or kneeling to scrub. Today I return to work and I’ll be glad to greet the kids, get back into a routine, and see my workmates.

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)



Christian writer and Georgia teacher's aide who loves Jesus, a quiet life, art, beauty, and children.