No Ordinary Attraction: The Heart of the Matter, Part 18 (Praising)

Frederick Hundertwasser ToiletsFrederick Hundertwasser ToiletsFrederick Hundertwasser Toilets

I wonder what the world would be like if we were all constantly singing and making music to the Lord in our hearts. Would we treat one another differently? Maybe even better? Would we become more conscious of the needs of others? Would we become more thankful?

I am not generally one who likes to visit restrooms, but when I do visit them, it's usually because of rather urgent matters, not because I'm sightseeing! However when we entered the region of Kawakawa, we were made aware of an unusual tourist attraction called the Frederick Hundertwasser Toilets. I was unaware at that time that these very "toilets" not only attracted entire tour buses, but they had also been the subject of both French and Japanese documentary films!

Just imagine the comments you will get from your pictures when you announce: "And this is me in front of the Kawakawa restrooms."

I'm ashamed to admit that I, too, have a picture of myself in front of these very "toilets".

You know, the words "toilet" and "restroom" really aren't good descriptors of the actual rooms, are they? True, they contain all the necessary accessories for quick relief, but usually we think of the word "rest" as somewhere you would want to stay for a while!

But the Frederick Hundertwasser Toilets are hardly ordinary restroom. From the grass roof, the extrinsic columns, the bottle glass windows, the mosaic tiling, and the original urinals, to the fact that a living tree is included in the design of the structure, everything about these toilets makes them much more a work of art than a simple room for relieving oneself!

And no wonder these restrooms are unusual. They were designed by an Austrian (They are very creative!) by the name of (I am certain that you already guessed his name ) Frederick Hundertwasser. It all happened when he came to New Zealand in the 1970s for a visit. He fell in love with the country and he purchased a second home on the Waikino peninsula so that he could spend more and more time in this beloved country.

In 1998 Kawakawa was looking into upgrading its 40 year-old public restrooms. Frederick brought his ideas on board and the rest is history. Ever since Kawakawa has had an unusual tourist attraction!

What is even more fascinating about this structure as far as I can recall, is the soft music reverberating through its walls. The whole structure puts you in a meditative mood. You literally leave that place with a smile on your face and peace in your heart. Try it if you don't believe me. New Zealand is really not that far!

I really believe that music can soften the heart and cheer our inner soul. It also makes us more eager to be thankful. Imagine if all of us Christians would respond to God by making music in our hearts! Not only would we be more thankful, but we would certainly be more jubilant as well! In fact, this is in the Bible and it isn't referring to long-faced, lemonized Christians who mourn the fact that they are attending church:

"Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." (Eph 5:19-20 NIV)

"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God." (Col 3:16-17 NIV)

"Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs." (Psalms 100:2 NIV)

If we all began to carry music around in our hearts, maybe people would start noticing us! Kind of like they notice the Frederick Hundertwasser Toilets!

Rob Chaffart

Frederick Hundertwasser ToiletsFrederick Hundertwasser ToiletsFrederick Hundertwasser Toilets

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