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Dr. James L. Snyder
THE PARSONAGE—Last week the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage came up with a brilliant idea. At least, at the time, it seemed brilliant.
“Why don’t we,” she began, “take Monday off and just chill?”
Since it's been a long time since I did any chillin, I had to ask her, "What do we chill about?"
She looked at me with one of those looks and said, “Oh, silly boy. Don’t you know what it means to just chill for a day?”
It's been so long since I did any of that I'm not sure if I remember what the rules are for chilling for a day. I can't remember the last time we did that. I'm sure being sick in bed does not qualify.
“Don’t you worry about a thing,” she said with a huge smile on her face, “I’ll take care of everything.”
That's what got me to worry. When the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage is in charge of planning, nothing is off the table.
I queried her throughout the week about what she had in mind for Monday, and she would smile and say, "Don't you worry about a thing." That's all she would tell me, which led me to worry about everything.
Whenever anybody, especially my wife, tells me not to worry, it is a red flag to begin worrying as best I can. If anybody can worry with dignity, it is Yours Truly.
I began worrying when I was very young. My parents would tell me, don't worry about anything, "We'll take care of everything, and you don't have to worry about anything."
Every time that happened, nothing really good came out of it, especially for me. My parents always planned around what they liked without any regard to what I liked. According to them, I was to like what they liked and appreciate what they were doing.
To an extent, I appreciated that, but to another extent, it made me worry quite a bit. After years of practicing my worrying, I think I have it down to a science.
So, when my wife says I’m not to worry and she’ll take care of things, I then begin to worry like I haven’t worried for a long time. I feared for the dawn of the coming Monday.
As we went to bed Sunday night, my wife said, "Are you as excited about our chillin day tomorrow as I am?"
Not knowing exactly what she had planned, I wasn't as excited as she was.
We had a light breakfast and chattered a little while watching the news on TV.
"There's a new restaurant in our area. Let's go there for lunch."
That was okay with me, then she said, "We should leave a little before lunch, I need to stop to pick up something."
I really wasn't listening to what she said because I was trying to figure out what this chillin would be like today.
“And then,” she continued, “I need to go over to Lowe’s and pick up some material for the room we’re remodeling.
Of course, that room we are remodeling is my home office. How could I say no to that?
Finally, we did get to the new restaurant and had a wonderful lunch. After lunch, we headed over to Lowe's and picked up the material she had ordered.
I still was trying to figure out what we were going to be doing to chill out today. While I was thinking about it, she suddenly said, "Look, there's a thrift store I haven't been to in a month. Let's stop and see what they got."
Coming out of the thrift store with a shopping cart full of stuff, “I sure am grateful that we stopped here today. Look at all the wonderful stuff I got and look at how much money I saved.”
Driving out of the parking lot and onto the main highway, we went for just a few minutes, and then my wife said, "Oh, look over there. They have some material I need to get to finish the project I'm working on. Let's stop there for a minute."
We brought out another shopping cart full of "stuff" she needed for her project. I glanced at her as we got into the van, and she was smiling.
I made the mistake of asking her, “Why are you smiling?”
"Oh," she said, chuckling, "this is the best chillin day I've had, in, I can't remember how long. Aren't you glad we took this day off to chill?"
It was about suppertime, so I suggested we stop at a local restaurant for supper. While we were enjoying our supper together, she entertained me with all of the wonderful stuff she got and all the money she saved by shopping at these thrift stores.
We got home and sat down in the living room after we had unloaded her van, and she said, "This has been a wonderful time together. We should do this more often." And she looked at me and smiled, and I returned her smile thinking, I don't think so.
As she talked, I couldn't help but think of one of my favorite Old Testament passages. "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3).
I still haven't figured out what a chillin day is, but I have learned, if I want what she wants, that makes it all the more wonderful.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. The church web site is www.whatafellowship.com.