Dr. James L. Snyder
THE PARSONAGE—Fifty years ago, I was a teenager. Boy, do I miss those Days of Yore. It's not that I would like to relive them, but I was a much different person back then.
As a teenager, I knew everything, and all you had to do was ask me. Even if you didn't ask me, I still would tell you what was on my mind. I wished I knew everything today because people are asking me questions I can’t even answer.
A teenager is someone between being a baby and being an adult. I sure don't want to be a baby, and I've had misgivings about becoming an adult. An adult has all kinds of responsibilities, of which none define the term "let's have fun."
One of the marvelous things about being a teenager is that you really don't know what's going on in the world. When I was a teenager, television wasn't the big thing it is today. And we didn't have the Internet with all of the social media associated with it. I could go a whole week and not know what was going on out in the world.
If you would watch the TV news at night, which I did very rarely, in under 30 minutes they could tell you everything going on in the world. Now, the news needs a 24/7 platform, and even then, they can't get all of the news out there.
A characteristic of a teenager is that they don't know what they don't know. And what they don't know doesn't interest them at all. Those were the good old days.
Back in those days, NEWS meant Nothing Ever Worth Seeing. And I lived by that rule.
Today, however, is a little bit different for me. At the end of the day, I like to sit in my easy chair with a nice hot cup of coffee and try to catch up with the news. To catch up with the news is like spilling Ketchup on your shirt while eating a hot dog. It's there, but it disgusts you.
Towards the end of last week, I came home from the office, situated myself in my easy chair with my coffee, and began watching the news. It went from one story to another story, and it was hard to tell the difference between any of them.
It was almost as entertaining as watching the Three Stooges. Political stooges, however, repeat the same thing over and over and over again. Before they go into office, I think our politicians need to sit down and have a 24-hour binge-watching the Three Stooges. Not that they would learn anything, but it might give us 24 hours of peace.
To say I was getting a little irritated is to put it rather mildly. It's not often that I get irritated at anything, but watching the news really made me irritated that night. Maybe it was because I had a hard week or something, I'm not sure. But I was irritated.
Finally, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage joined me, and I could hold it back no longer.
Taking a deep breath, raising my right fist, I said, "If it were only up to me. I'd fix that problem. What's wrong with those stupid politicians?"
When I calmed down a little bit, I heard some chuckling across the room. I'm not used to hearing chuckling across the room, and so I did not know what was going on. I looked, and wouldn't you know it, it was the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage laughing.
“What are you laughing about?”
Looking at me, still chuckling, she said, "Are you sure you could fix that problem?"
I wasn't quite sure what she was getting at, and at this point, I was not going to jeopardize my happiness by asking her to explain what she just said.
I did not have to ask her because as she cooled down her chuckling, she began to explain why she was chuckling. I didn't want to hear it.
"If you can fix that problem," she said, still chuckling, "I have a list of problems that I would like you to fix." With that said, she continued chuckling.
At the time, I did not find it worth chuckling, but I did realize I had dug a hole that I'm not going to get out of very easily.
Still chuckling, she continued, "Which problem would you like to start with? You can pick whichever one you want."
Trying to smile as best I could, which at the time was quite tricky, I said, "I was just speaking parenthetically. I'm just a little upset that our politicians don't do the work that they say they're going to do."
"That's okay, and I understand," my wife said, "you now can set the example by taking this list and begin fixing one problem after another."
This is why I am very careful what I say out loud. Somebody is always listening.
As we were sitting there, I was reminded of what that wise old King Solomon once said. “In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise” (Proverbs 10:19).
Solomon had more wives than I can count, and perhaps that was why he came to this wonderful piece of wisdom. It's easy to say something, but once you do, you can never unsay it.
Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 352-687-4240 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The church web site is www.whatafellowship.com.