The legendary Andy Rooney is credited with saying it first, “Life is like a roll of toilet paper,the closer you get to the end, the faster it goes.”

Rooney has a point.Today is my oldest son’s 35th birthday.Wow that went by fast.Next week our oldest grandchild turns fourteen.I still feel like I’m fourteen!

Each year seems to go by even faster.

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Life is like a roll of toilet paper.Sometimes its pretty rough and harsh.Sometimes it feels like everywhere you go you’re hit with crap.Other times its pretty soft and cushy.

Life is like a roll of toilet paper.When it’s a single-ply season you don’t get very far even with a great deal of effort.But during those three-ply times it can be smooth sailing.

Life is like a roll of toilet paper.You get a few choices for how you live it.You can position it to roll through the inside.You can stick it on top of the holder, or throw it on the back of the toilet or even balance it on the side of the bathtub.You can toss it face down on the floor.Yet some people insist there is only one way to do it—coming over the front edge.One time I replaced the toilet paper roll (yes, I have done this a time or two) with the sheets coming through the inside.My wife asked if I still loved her.

Life is like a roll of toilet paper.You can take it and few dozen of its friends and throw it all over some random neighbor’s house.

Life is like a roll of toilet paper.You can choose to share it.Or you can keep it all to yourself, living the “I can’t spare a square” lifestyle.

Life is like a roll of toilet paper.It may take a crisis to realize how valuable it is.

We learned this on our first trip to China.In that countr,y the public restrooms rarely have toilet paper.Who am I kidding?The private bathrooms aren’t guaranteed to have toilet paper either.When in China, never venture far without your own toilet tissue stash.(If you are in Beijing, the Outback Steakhouse restaurant near the Forbidden City has one of the nicest washrooms on the planet!There are plenty of squares to spare!)

This recent coronavirus pandemic has reminded us how incredibly valuable three squares can be!On Amazon, I keep seeing, “This product is unavailable.”I did buy a pack of “recycled toilet paper”—sounds disturbing!It’s scheduled to arrive this week.

Americans are emptying shelves faster than any time since 1973.Back then, folks wondered if they’d ever be able to afford gasoline during the energy crunch, so they did what any sane person would do—they rushed to get toilet paper!

Economists and psychologists tell us that hoarding toilet paper in a crisis is a classic move from people who feel they are not in control.At least they can control their bathroom supplies.Having enough Charmin around somehow makes us feel more secure.And it’s a zero-risk action.We’re going to eventually need a bunch of toilet paper in the future, so there’s not a big downside to having a large stash now.

Life is like a roll of toilet paper.No matter how hard you try, you can’t control much of anything.

Life is like a roll of toilet paper, then again life is not like a roll of toilet paper.Even in a time of panic, hoarding and shortage, you can figure there’s another roll coming your way.When your three-year-old granddaughter fills the toilet bowl with rolls and rolls, you actually laugh because you know you can always get more.

But there is not another life coming your way.When the last square of your breath is used up, its over.

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But then again, maybe not.Jesus promises,“I assure you that everyone who has given up house or wife or brothers or parents or children,(or toilet paper?)for the sake of the Kingdom of God, will be repaid many times over in this life, and will have eternal life in the world to come.”

—Luke 18:29-30 (NLT)

There is another life to come, another unending roll for those who give this life to Jesus.That’s way better news than hearing Costco got a new shipment.This life may be moving fast, but a new life awaits.Let’s share that news, along with a roll of toilet paper.