OUT TO PASTURE : And I thought I was confused!
I have concluded that life, as it stands out in the public arena, is a very confusing thing. As I watched the news and see scandal after scandal unfold and people trying to dance around the facts so that they come out looking good, I am reminded of how that doesn’t work for me.
I have a new TV show I want to pitch to someone. I am calling it, “Dancing with the Idiots.” The genius of the show is there is no shortage of contestants. The problem with this show would be who is the idiot to beat all idiots?
Since I am not a very good dancer this does not work for me. I think the difference is, I have to answer to the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. Believe me, she was not born yesterday but I will not give the exact year for obvious reasons. I used to do that but that is when I learned I could not dance, at all.
When I was very young and more confused than I am today I thought I could get away with anything. Believe me, I tried. I could write a book, but then there are so many people I would not want to read it that it would not be worth publishing.
One problem is associated with this kind of thinking. If you get away with something, who in the world can you brag to about it? If I do something behind my wife’s back and actually get away with it, where is the consolation prize?
I think the only thing that really illustrates this is fishing. When I was younger, I loved to fish. The wonderful world of angling consists of two kinds of fishermen: those who brag a lot and those who catch a lot and the twain shall never cross rods.
I was an avid fisherman and it was a long time before I figured out that in the 23rd Psalm David is not talking about a fishing rod when he says, “thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” Be that as it may, my fishing rod did a great deal of comforting me back in “the day.”
When I would go fishing and come home empty-handed, I could brag about the big one that got away. Of course, every time I told the story the fish got just a little bit bigger. But who is going to correct me on that? Who is to say that it was not really that big? Or, even bigger?
When I came home with a bunch of fish, the catch spoke for itself. After all, how in the world can you exaggerate something when it is right before you? Who do you think I am? A politician?
If you do think you are getting away with something, somebody will see you and share that information with somebody else who will share that information with somebody else until it has come full circle. Thus begins the dizzy world of confusion.
Just this week, for example, I was caught. I hate getting caught. I had come home after a long day at the office and my wife greeted me with, “I saw Mrs. Jones who said she saw Mrs. Smith who told her that Mrs. Grant saw you buying an Apple Fritter at Publix. Is there any truth in it?”
Any husband knows he will never win any argument when there are four women who testify to the contrary of what he is about to say.
The best procedure at this point is to fall on the mercy of the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. Because, I have discovered the great secret to marital bliss. Simply put, when she is happy, I am happy. The trick is to find out what makes her happy.
When I am thus caught with the alleged Apple Fritter, she is happiest when I confess and say the magical words, “You’re right!” Arguments have disappeared. The only thing I have to hear now is, “Well, don’t let it happen again.” And the marital bliss is back on track and I have averted a personal train wreck.
A long time ago, I understood the difference between being happy and being right. Yes, there is that time when you need to stand your ground regardless of the consequence. My philosophy of life is to simply pick your battles very carefully. Not every battle is worth the scars.
After all, when you are caught with the goods in hand, denying it is the epitome of stupidity. Unless I am a politician, I want to stay away from stupidity as much as possible.
The thing about denying the scandal you might be in at the time is, it only prolongs the focus on the scandal. Perhaps some politicians could take my advice and confess fully when caught with the goods in hand. Saying, “I’m sorry,” is the first step in putting something behind you.
Someone said that confession is good for the soul. It is good for many other things as well. The Bible is sure good on this aspect of confession.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9 KJV).
The world can be very confusing if we are not willing to ‘fess up and try straightening things out.
Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, PO Box 831313, Ocala, FL 34483. Call him at 1-866-552-2543 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. His web site is http://www.jamessnyderministries.com.