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Dr. James L. Snyder
THE PARSONAGE—I am a student of smileology and have been just about all my life. If you can't smile at something, it's not worth thinking about.
Of course, certain things in life are serious, but not that many. Too many people take everything seriously and ruin their life. These are the kind of people I like to be around because they take things so seriously and because of that, the jokes on them.
When I see somebody that looks sad, I have an impulse to try to do something to make them laugh. It is that smile on our face that defines who we are.
There are times when I need to be careful about my smiling. I find so much to chuckle about, and to be truthful, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage has given me quite a bit to chuckle about. I don't know if she has taught me to chuckle or if I have taught her to chuckle. The result is the only thing that matters. We chuckle together, and that makes a good life.
We need to be careful about watching programs dealing with politicians because of the danger of dying laughing. Every politician has their role model as Charlie Chaplin.
When I told my wife this, she vehemently disagreed.
“Oh, no,” she said most energetically, “their role model is the Three Stooges.”
When she's right, she's right, and with this, she is absolutely right.
We enjoyed a long therapeutic session of chuckling.
Then a certain chapter in our life opened up. We were eating supper together, and my wife said, "Do you know that my friend was locked out of Facebook?"
I chuckled because I thought it was some kind of a joke.
“No,” I said between chuckles, “what kind of nonsense did she do to deserve that?”
I responded, “Doesn’t she know that her world does not revolve around Facebook? Tell her to go and get a life.”
In the next week, I heard of several of my friends who have been locked out of their Facebook. These friends were good people, and I couldn't figure out why in the world Facebook would lock them out. They probably did something terrible. Why else would Facebook lock them out?
It seems every week I hear someone who is being locked out of Facebook, and I never could understand the reasons for that. I just laughed it off and thought perhaps they did something that was not right.
After all, Facebook is always right. (Or do they lean left?) I could never figure that out.
Whenever I hear of one being locked out, I would just smile and chuckle and forget about it.
I’ve learned a lesson, don’t chuckle about something when you don’t know the whole story.
One day this past week, I got up, got my coffee, and went to my chair to do a little reading, and then I picked up my iPad to check out my Facebook page.
I guess this is something automatic, and I don't think about it too much.
As I was opening my Facebook page, a message came up that said I had been locked out of Facebook. Evidently, according to them, and they never get it wrong, there have been things put on my Facebook that did not correlate with their standards.
Somebody hacked into my account and started putting on things I had no idea about.
When I told my wife about my lockout on Facebook, she just started chuckling.
“What are you chuckling about?”
“Well,” she said between chuckles, “you must’ve done something awful for Facebook to lock you out.”
Just to pause right here; I was not chuckling!
Then she reminded me of all the friends of ours locked out of Facebook and how much we laughed and chuckled.
“Yeah,” I said mournfully, “but that had nothing to do with me. I’m locked out!”
She stared at me one of those stares of hers and just kept staring. I was getting to be a little unnerved by her staring. Then she finally said, "Your world does not revolve around Facebook. Go get a life."
At this time, I was not chuckling, but was beginning to do the opposite of chuckling. I can't tell you what that is right now.
The rest of the day, I was pondering my situation. I did not know how much time I spent on Facebook and how I depended upon it for specific information. I was disturbed by the thought that my world was beginning to revolve around Facebook. What a terrible development.
At this point, I am still locked out of Facebook. I'm not sure how long I'll be locked out; it could be a month or more. I don't know how these things work.
Although I thought it was a bad experience, I begin to realize that it was a good experience. Sometimes the best part of life flows out of the worst experiences we have. God delights to reveal himself in the dark shadows of our human experience.
I thought about a verse in the New Testament, “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.”
Every experience gives me a new opportunity to rejoice in the Lord. My joy certainly does not come from Facebook but from Christ.
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.