My Personal Lesson on Enthusiasm

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Something about airplane wheels touching down on a runway always makes me need to find a toilet. Maybe it’s that the flight attendant won’t let me get up or maybe it’s that I’ve secured my seatbelt directly over my bladder – I’m not sure. But, the fact of the matter is that when my plane lands, I bee-line it for the nearest restroom. If Mark is flying with me, we don’t even talk about it anymore. He just knows to find the nearest sign of a silhouetted woman with her legs crossed and wait for me there.


On this particular day, the urge was universal among women, and I joined every female passenger in the airport across from Gate D36.


Relieved at last, I opened my stall just in time to see a lady standing in front of the hand dryer…with an entire paper seat-liner tucked into the back of her jeans. 


Remembering the Golden Rule, I skipped washing my own hands in order to catch her before she exited the restroom. 


The plan was a good one, but the combination of crowds and her brisk exit kept me from executing it. With promptness and determination, she turned the corner to merge with terminal traffic, tail flying in the breeze as she picked up her pace.


Undeterred, I also rounded the corner and began calling out to her. 


“Ma’am? Ma’am!….MA’AM!”


Despite my eagerness and enthusiasm, I noticed that she actually picked up speed, and was distinctly avoiding me. I could see her eyes cutting to the corner, as it seemed she wanted to see me without making eye contact. She obviously wasn’t from the friendly state.


Fueled by my mission, I enacted a strategy. 


I picked up speed, swung wide, and subtly encouraged her to run into a bystander munching on an Auntie Ann’s pretzel. As she stumbled, I reached out and used my last turbo-boost of energy to grasp the shoulder strap of her purse and kindly turn her around. 


Putting myself into her situation, I knew the best option was to quickly and quietly get her back against a nearby wall. I chose this method for two reasons. First, it would hide the paper culprit in question, and secondly it disallowed any other gawkers. After all, I had noticed several people were now staring at the both of us.


Once I had slid her gently against the lighted “Just Do It” sign, she finally faced me, staring wide-eyed into my eyes. As I leaned forward to whisper into her ear, I realized that I was a little out of breath. 


“That seat cover thingie is…is…is…there,” I stammered, reaching behind her to explain.


As our hands met over her backside, I thought she might faint there for a moment. Then,  she felt the cover and crumpled it into her hand. 


“Thank you,” she exhaled as the color drained from her cheeks.


My job complete, I breathed out my own sigh of relief and felt quite satisfied about my scriptural deed of the day. Indeed, I had done unto her as I would want someone to do unto me.


As I scanned for Mark, I spotted him standing directly across from me with arms folded. His slight nod of the head and deep sigh told me he’d witnessed the whole thing. Somehow, I got the feeling he wasn’t as proud of me as I felt. 


Once I neared him, he tilted his head ever so slightly toward me and with his best Baby Face Nelson look, asked, “How much did you get?”


“What do you mean?” I faltered, confused.


“It looked like you just mugged a lady,” he confessed matter-of-factly. “You chased her down, grabbed her, spun her around and slammed against the wall before frisking her. I saw her face. She was scared to death!”


Still a little stunned, I scrambled to explain.


“I was HELPING her!” I justified. “Women like that kind of thing!”


After thirty years of marriage, Mark knew better than to argue. “Well, I’ll say one thing for you,” he placated. “You did it all with liveliness and enthusiasm.” 


Liveliness and enthusiasm. I found these same concepts in Thayer’s Lexicon when I looked up the word “preparation” in Ephesians 6:15.


As Christians, our feet are to be shod with the kind of preparation that includes eagerness, promptness and speed. 


But, it’s making me wonder. Have I been as enthusiastic with spiritual preparation as I was to remove a toilet seat cover?


Hummm….I’m not sure.