Dr. James L. Snyder
THE PARSONAGE—As far back as I can remember, every time I would leave the house, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage would say, "Be careful. Drive safely."
It’s as though she doesn’t think I could drive carefully without giving me some instructions. I think it has become just a routine for her.
There are reasons behind all of that. I've been involved in quite a few accidents, although not serious. An accident can create a whole lot of trouble, especially with the insurance company. There have also been times I have run out of gas.
When I have an accident, I have to call the insurance company.
When I run out of gas, I have to call the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage.
One of those calls, and I will not say which one, I do not want to make.
Although I've not had many accidents, they still are accidents. Although most of them were not my fault, I still got blamed.
"Well," my wife explained to me, "you were the one behind the wheel, so it has to be your responsibility. You should know how to control your car."
She does have a point. I should know how to control my car, but there are times, and it's hard to explain, when the control is completely out of hand. This is something the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage cannot understand.
She has a marvelous and wonderful way of controlling everything in front of her. Even me. If she can’t control it or fix it then there is absolutely no hope.
We’ve been married longer than the number of fingers on my hand and toes on my feet and during that time she has never had an accident. At least, I don’t know of any accident that she might’ve had.
Every year when it comes time to renew our insurance, she reminds me, "Don't forget to renew our insurance because you just might need it this coming year."
I suppose she's right more times and wrong. That's the frustrating thing. If I were right every time she was wrong, I would never be right.
Giving this some thought over the years, I have just accepted the fact that I'm the one in the house that has the accidents, which is why we need to have car insurance.
That was until recently.
I love it when the tables are turned, and last week the tables were wonderfully turned in her direction.
Nobody saw this coming, but that in itself makes it rather enjoyable.
My wife had various places to go last Thursday, which is a normal thing for her. She's always busy, particularly visiting thrift stores.
One thing about my wife is that she does not like insects. I, on the other side of the marital aisle, are fascinated with insects of all kinds. It is very hard for me to kill a fly even when it's bugging me.
I love critters of all denominations.
As she was driving, she felt something on her leg. She simply shook it off and kept driving. She is always a very well-focused person, and she was entirely focused on getting to her next destination. All the while, something seemed to be crawling up her leg.
While driving, she couldn't see what was crawling up her leg, so she shook her leg.
Then she stopped at a red light. There was a car in front of her which she didn't pay much attention to. While she was stopped, she thought she would look into what was crawling up her leg.
Her foot was on the brake pedal, and as she looked down, she saw a bug crawling up her leg, which threw her into a frenzy. She jumped, her foot got off of the brake pedal, and she reached down to grab the bug and throw it out the window.
As she did this, her car lunged forward and hit the back of the car in front of her.
Officially, this was an accident. She got out, and the man in the car in front of her get out, and they looked at the damage, fortunately, there was very little damage. They exchange insurance cards and names, and so forth.
Then she went home. I was already home, and as she came in the door, her cell phone rang, and it was our insurance company. I sat there, overhearing all the information about her "accident."
She hung up the phone, looked at me, and said, "It wasn't my fault. It was that stinking bug's fault."
"But," I said as soberly as possible, "weren't you behind the wheel?"
She just looked at me with both hands on her hips and then turned around and walked away.
Nobody was hurt, not even the vehicles themselves. But it was an “accident.”
The next morning she had to go somewhere else, and as she opened the door, I said to her very carefully, “Be safe. Drive carefully.”
She looked back at me and said, “Very funny.”
It's so wonderful to have the upper hand finally.
As she closed the door behind her, I chuckled and then thought of a Scripture verse. "Therefore all things whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do you even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets" (Matthew 7:12).
One thing I have learned in life is to be careful what you allow to bug you.
Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, Ocala, FL 34472, where he lives with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. Call him at 352-216-3025 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The church web site is www.whatafellowship.com.