Dr. James L. Snyder
THE PARSONAGE—For several weeks, or has it been years, I’ve been waiting for an important package to come through the mail. I don’t know why they call it snail mail because I have seen snails crawl faster.
With all our technology today, you would think that mail could come in on a particular schedule, and I'm thinking of a fast-paced schedule.
I've been going to the mailbox every day for several weeks, and I find a lot of junk mail, but I don't find the mail that I'm looking for. They promised it would arrive between seven and ten days. Of course, they didn't mention what days they would come, nor did they say those days would be consecutive.
Each day that mail hasn’t come has made me more jittery.
The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage is always encouraging me to be patient. I once responded to her, "I'm not a doctor, and I don't have any patients."
There are times when I should not verbalize what I'm thinking. It would keep me out of trouble. When I mentioned I didn't have any patients, my wife looked at me and said, "Well, you silly boy, get some and get some today because I'm running out of patience."
In my diary that night, I made a little note, "Do not respond to the wife verbally until you have had seven days to think it through."
At my age, within three days, I have totally forgotten what I was going to say.
The interesting thing was that I checked my bank account and saw the day I ordered that package, the money came out of my account immediately. They had my money, but I didn't have their package.
I think it strange that money goes out of my account much faster than anything in this world. Where does it go? Not too long ago, somebody withdrew $1700 from my account. Evidently, they had applied for a card on my account, got it, and used it.
If only my mail arrived as quickly as my money disappears, I would be a happy camper.
It took several weeks for the bank to get that $1700 back into my account. As I say, it goes out faster than it comes in.
In the last few days, I've been getting a little jumpy, more than normal. I stand at the window, watching for the mailman, and he never comes on a regular schedule.
Then the mailman shows up, I jump up, run out the door, get to the mailbox, and much to my disappointment, the package is not in the mail. I have mail from everybody and everything but not the mail that I really want. How aggravating is that?
I stomped back into the house, grumbling under my breath, careful not to vocalize what is chopping in my head.
Walking into the house, all I did was say grrrrrrrrrrrrr. And then I let it spill, "When will that package arrive?" I didn't know somebody in the house was listening.
“Are you still worrying about that package?”
She knew I was, so I just looked at her, smiled, nodded my head, and went to my office area.
Looking at me, trying to encourage me, I think, she said, "All in due time." And then she smiled in my direction.
I didn't know what she meant by "due time." Did she mean, "dew time?" Or did she mean, "do time?" As it was, I was “doing time,” and not too happy with it.
“There’s always a reason,” she explained, “for everything. There certainly is a reason why this package is late.”
I knew what she was saying was right, but I wasn't in the mood to hear a sermon. In listening to one of her sermons, I was afraid she would start taking up a collection. I certainly wasn't in a mood for that. I wanted to give something but certainly not money.
I remember there was a time when you went to a store to buy something, look for it and then take it up to the counter, pay the cashier and then walk out the door with it. I sure miss those good old days.
When I called the customer service, they assured me they sent the package out at the correct time, and according to their records, it was delivered within the proper time.
Hanging up the phone, I sat there, grumbling about my misfortune. Then the doorbell rang.
I got up and opened the door, and a man said, "I got this package several weeks ago, but it's not anything I ordered. Is this something you ordered?"
I looked at the package. It had my name on it, but it did not have my address on it. I cheerfully thanked the guy, shook his hand, and wished him a good day.
I went back to my chair, opened up the package and there was what I had ordered—all in due time.
I thought of a special verse, “To every thing, there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2).
Everything has a time element to it that has been established by God, and when I surrender to God's time, I will plant seeds of happiness in my life.
Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 352-216-3025 or e-mail email@example.com. The church web site is www.whatafellowship.com.