13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me.”14 He replied to him, “Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?”15 Then he said to the crowd, “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.”16 Then he told them a parable. “There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest.17 He asked himself, ‘What shall I do, for I do not have space to store my harvest?’18 And he said, ‘This is what I shall do: I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones. There I shall store all my grain and other goods19 and I shall say to myself, “Now as for you, you have so many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink, be merry!”20 But God said to him, ‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’21 Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich in what matters to God.” (Luke 12:13-21)
Like many of you, I have watched news reports of feverish shopping for toilet paper and seen images of long lines of shopping carts piled to the heavens with bulk toilet paper buys. There was a report of a tractor trailer filled with toilet paper being hijacked in the Middle Atlantic states. Having camped in the mountains of the west and lived in the slums of East Africa, I have to admit I don’t share the same concerns about not having toilet paper. There are alternatives.
At the risk of sounding quite flippant, I have to admit that the Lukan passage came to mind. Probably a little harsh I will admit, but in came in the context of some reports about toilet paper in the news.
Earlier this week I heard a radio report from toilet paper manufacturers, not so much on how they would ramp up production and supply (which they are, some 20%) but when this passes (God willing and soon) they wonder will they need to produce any for a while given the increasing site storage in people’s homes.
How much to you have in your home? How long will it last? Of course, someone has created a website to help you calculate such things. Its variables are rolls on hand, visits to the bathroom per day when using toilet paper, and there are “advanced options”: sheets on a roll, number of sheets used per visit, and number of wipes per visit.
Howmuchtoiletpaper.com is a website created by student software developer Ben Sassoon and artist Sam Harris, both based in London, in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The tool calculates just how long your stash of toilet paper will last you during a quarantine. More than 2 million people have used the tool, the website says, and the average user has a whopping 500% more toilet paper than they need for quarantine.
Anyway…we were always told to read with the newspaper in one hand and Scripture in the other. I suspect loftier things were intended – my apologies to my spiritual mentor.