Stuck in a Memphis Bathroom

I was stuck.water.jpg

Years ago, I had just finished taking a final exam at Harding Graduate School of Religion (Memphis). The test was not complete until late afternoon. I decided to spend the night and stayed at my friend Gary’s apartment. Gary worked nights and I would have the apartment to myself most of the evening.

I had been in Memphis all week taking a D. Min. seminar and so by Friday evening, I was ready to relax. I planned to watch a pre-season football game on television and eat a pizza that had just been delivered. Just before eating the first piece of pizza, I stepped into the restroom to wash my hands. I turned the knob at the sink and the thing fell off. Water shot into the air. I ran outside to look for the apartment office or a maintenance person. I saw no one.

I ran to the next apartment and banged on the door. A guy opened the door and he was drunk. I told him what had happened and he started yelling about the irresponsible maintenance people. Meanwhile, water was seeping under his wall. He said that he would contact maintenance, so I went back into the apartment. I yanked a hose off the vacuum cleaner and stuck one end over the broken faucet so the water could flow through the hose, while I held the other end over the bathtub.

I sat on the commode lid, holding one end of the hose with one hand and the other end with the other hand.

For about thirty minutes, I sat there. I was stuck! Sitting on a commode lid, praying for someone to come. Finally the drunk guy came into the apartment and a maintainience man followed. He turned the water off outside and began vacuuming the water with a shop vacuum cleaner.

About 10:00 PM, they both left. The maintenance guy went home. The drunk guy went to his apartment. I left my seat on the commode lid.

I went into the kitchen. The game was over and the pizza was cold. What an evening!

I had been stuck all evening in a Memphis bathroom.

Now lots of us get stuck.

Sometimes families get stuck. Their life and joy are gone.
Sometimes married couples get stuck. Their sexual relationship may lack passion and desire and instead happen only out of a sense of duty.
Sometimes friends get stuck. They continue to be friends even though their withdrawals are larger than their deposits.
Sometimes churches get stuck. They stop dreaming or anticipating what God might do.
Sometimes elder groups get stuck. They stopped having any fun or joy a long time ago.
Sometimes individuals get stuck. A guy may spend more time sitting in his recliner watching ball games than talking with his wife and children.

Getting unstuck is not always easy. Yet the first thing that we need to do is to simply acknowledge that we are stuck. Then we need to spend some time imagining a new kind of life. We need to imagine life that is unstuck. For example, we need to imagine what we might do as a church if we were unstuck.


Have you experienced being stuck? What did you notice about the experience? What makes getting unstuck difficult?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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One thought on “Stuck in a Memphis Bathroom

  1. Usually one of two things happens when I get stuck. One is that I realize that I’ve become overly focused on an issue, throwing all of myself into it with little success and to the neglect of myself. At these moments, I withdraw and begin to start living again; being more balanced and allowing God to handle whatever the issue is. This often allows me to clear my head and re-engage again afresh and anew. The other thing that happens when I get stuck is that an opportunity will come my way to let me know that I’m not a failure. This new opportunity is usually the breath of fresh air I needed. Either way, it seems that focusing on something else is the key–at least for me.