The Storm Before the Calm

It was a good time to run a errands. Well… Normally, it would have been a good time. I jumped into my trusty Wrangler and headed out to Costco—everyone’s favorite gathering place. Friday mornings are usually smooth sailing (even at the big box stores), but the place was a beehive. I didn’t understand the big to-do until I was standing in a long checkout line. Then it hit me. There was some snow in the forecast.

As you may know, anytime any kind of storm is predicted, everyone and their sister has to raid the stores—even though, two hours after the snow hits, the roads will be clear. We all know the prudent thing is to stock up on bread, milk, and… Yes—toilet paper.

I’ve never quite understood the toilet paper thing. I’m positive I don’t use any extra toilet paper when it snows. Some people must, but I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because they use the workplace T.P. everyday. If they’re stranded at home, they’ll have to provide their own. That excuse is about as thin as the paper itself, but are we talking 2-ply here?

The Phenomenon

After years of watching this phenomenon, I have to say I’m no closer to understanding it than I ever was. It may be one of those mysteries that will live on long after I’m gone. Some people like to say they’ll have a lot of questions for the Lord when they get to Heaven. Personally, if I ask anything, it will be to get an explanation on the toilet paper rush of aught nine (or any other year for that matter).

Most years, as well as most storms, are quite mild where I live. Often, the actual storms are even enjoyable. What occurs in the hours and minutes prior to the snowfall is when the real action happens. It’s a veritable storm before the calm. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it. It catches me by surprise every time.

Don’t TP My Tent

Now that I think of it, this may have been what Jesus was warning us about when he said, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34). Still, they don’t have many snowstorms in Galilee, so He may have been referring to something else. Come to think of it, from what I understand, they didn’t have many grocery stores in Jesus’ time either. Actually, when you really get down to it, I’m not all that sure they even used toilet paper back then. Charmin would have gone out of business before it got started (no matter how soft it is). No wonder He wasn’t worried about tomorrow.

The modern day solution, of course, is for everyone to keep a stock of toilet paper laded at all times. It doesn’t take up much room, isn’t expensive, and will never go bad. You will not only have what you need, you’ll be in line with Scripture. 

[Dave Zuchelli is a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and currently resides in Aldie, VA.]

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