Dr. James L. Snyder
One of the New Year’s resolutions I made, which the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage reminded me, is to take a day off and just relax.
That is a rather hard thing for me to do, especially every week.
The first week in January, I was busy about my business and my wife said, “Which day this week are you going to take off and relax?”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“Remember your New Year’s resolution,” she reminded me, “that you are going to take one day a week off to relax?”
I did remember that, but I did not think anybody was listening. Then I thought if anybody was listening, they really did not think I was serious about it. I have learned after many years of being a husband never to cross swords with “the Wife.”
Looking at her rather casually, I said, “I’m going to do that tomorrow.”
“Today,” she said, “is the tomorrow you talked about yesterday.”
I slowly remove my necktie and said, “Can I do this rather slowly until I get used to it?”
Of course, there was no negotiating with her about this. If I was serious about my New Year’s resolutions, which I probably was not, I was going to have to start it today. With her, there was no tomorrow about it.
I sat down in my easy chair, picked up my laptop computer and was getting it running when my wife came into the room and said, “Nope, that is not part of taking your day off. Put that computer away.”
With a deep sigh, I shut down my computer and put it back. Then I picked up a book and began reading, thinking this is okay.
“Nope, that is not part of taking your day off. Put that book away.”
You know what it is like not having access to your computer and not able to read a book? If this is relaxing, oh please, let me get back to work. Her insistence was that I take the day off and as much as possible do nothing.
I queried her, “What can I do on my day off?”
She pointed to the TV and said, “You can watch a little bit of TV, and then take a nap.”
It has been a long time since I watched any daytime TV. I spent the first half hour trying to find something interesting to watch and found absolutely nothing. There were game shows, soap operas and something they call reality shows. In five minutes of watching one reality show, I realized there was no “reality” about any of it. If that is reality, oh please, help me!
Eventually my wife came in to check on me to make sure I was “taking the day off.”
I then said to her, “Would reading my Bible be a part of my day off?”
How could anybody refuse me from reading my Bible? She responded in the negative. Imagine that! According to her, if I would read my Bible I would begin also to work on a sermon for Sunday. And, “That would be considered work,” she explained.
Therefore, here I am taking the day off, which is turning out to be one of the most stressful days of my life.
After a while, I was watching something on TV, have no idea what in the world it was, but noticed the commercials. Now my problem was that I could not tell the difference between a commercial and a TV show. They seem to run together and there was hardly any difference between the two.
I begin to notice some of these commercials. Maybe it was the audience they thought they had at that time, not considering someone like me. Most of the commercials were on how to stay young and look young no matter how old you are.
According to some of these commercials, if you are 40 you should look like you are 20. I tried to think that through and it did not make sense to me. Why does one want to be 20 the rest of their life? And, what was so special about 1998?
Then there were cosmetics that made you look younger. All kinds of solutions, creams and even pills that would make you look young.
My question was, if I look young, like 20, do I really feel young? And, what does it really feel like to be young?
Not only do I need to feel young, but also I need to look young and obviously a young person is skinny. When did skinny become the trademark of young?
To get back to my skinny physique they had all kinds of diets for me. They guaranteed that their diet would enable me to lose 50 pounds. My question would be, which pounds would I be losing? From some of these commercials I think the pounds they lost were the ones between their ears.
After a day of watching stupid TV programs and commercials, I have only one comment.
Please, just let me get old!
I understand what James was saying, “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that” (James 4:14-15).
I find it comforting to know that my life is in God’s hands.
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. Phone 352-687-4240 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The church web site is www.whatafellowship.com.
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