One of our cats urinated in the side-pocket of my gym bag.  Parenthetical Statement #1 – (What a lousy way to begin blog.)  Parenthetical Statement #2 - (I thought my wife was the only one irritated with the gym bag resting beside the sofa.)  While I commend the accuracy of his aim, his choice of target may require a contract to be issued on his furry tail. The timing of his discharge was insignificant compared to the timing of my discovery.  The bag was packed and ready to go.  I hastily picked it up and threw it in the back of the VW – as is my daily habit.  Arriving at the gym, I grabbed the bag, stuffed it in a locker, and proceeded to push and punish by body for over an hour.  I took a shower…and then…then I opened the bag to retrieve my clothes. BANG!  An unseen acidic mushroom cloud rose from the vinyl-lined, portable locker.

What’s a guy to do?  I got dressed.  Trying to mask the odor that had penetrated my clothing, I dabbed on a bit of Aramis cologne.  (Which I now realize smells a bit like cat urine.)

Not wanting to break the stride of my day, I headed to the coffee shop to write…and here I am.  Several patrons have hurriedly passed my table, glancing in my direction with squinted, wondering eyes.  A few others have outright stared.  I’ve conjured several verbal responses to their odious ogling.  Remaining close to the truth, “It’s the last bit of Aramis from a bottle I bought back in the 70’s.”  To the guys, “Haven’t you ever smelled someone with an incredibly overabundant supply of testosterone?”  And to this one cute blond chick, “I’m in heat…interested?”  But if you think my wife gets mad about me leaving the gym bag lying around….

In the church, we are marked by baptism…and people should know it; they should just be able to tell.  In life, we are often marked in other ways.  We’re ‘cat people’ at our house.  And in God’s creative construction of the feline framework, cat people get marked.  I like God…most days.

(In what ways has baptism ‘marked’ your life?  How can we more regularly present ‘baptismal influence’ to congregations…even during services when we are not celebrating baptism? Post a ‘comment’ and let us know.)

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