The past week was an unusually quiet week around the parsonage. It enabled me to do something that I have wanted to do all summer long. Nothing. I am not bragging or anything, but I can do nothing right up there with the best of them.
It all began when the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage made one of her announcements.
"Our daughter and I," she said rather matter-of-factly, "will be going out of town for the entire day on Thursday."
Apparently, our daughter was going to take her daughter to visit friends and she wanted my wife to go along to keep her company. Trying to hide my delight in the whole matter, I soberly said, "Is there anything I can do for you for your trip?"
"Now, here's the list I made for you while I'm away. Make sure you do everything on that list."
I graciously accepted "The List" and glanced at it casually. If I did everything on that list, she would have to be gone for a month. I smiled as I folded "The List" and tucked it into my shirt pocket.
Finally, the day arrived. Early that morning, the three of them – grandmother, mother, and daughter – loaded up the car and began their journey. I stood in the doorway and waved until I could no longer see the car, and then I waved for three more minutes just to make sure the job was done.
After I shut the door, I sighed very deeply, toddled over to my easy chair with a nice hot cup of coffee, and began my day's activities. Oh sure, I read over "The List" several times and then folded it neatly up and put it back in my shirt pocket. As I patted my shirt pocket, I said to myself, "I plan to take special care of this list."
Knowing all the things I was supposed to do as outlined in "The List," I decided to do something not on that list.
I know what you are thinking right now. You're thinking, what are you going to do when your wife comes home? That is the difference between the average person and Yours Truly. I am living in the moment. Whatever happens later on has no bearing whatsoever upon my enjoyment of the moment. Indeed, I may get into some complicated trouble; however, it is a small price to pay for enjoying my moment.
Not many people come to the place where they can enjoy their moment in the sun. Some people have grandiose ideas of life to such an extent that they work all their life and never achieve it. Some people work very hard all their life so that they can come to the place where they can do nothing.
I am miles ahead of the ordinary citizen. I find ways in which to enjoy doing nothing wherever I can find it. I purposefully look for those moments and grab them when I can.
Even Jesus took time to rest. "And he [Jesus] said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat" (Mark 6:31).
I am reminded of another old Pennsylvania Dutch saying, "The hurrier I go the behinder I get."
[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.]