Choices are a very important part of our everyday life. I am what I am today because of choices I made yesterday. I would like to blame someone else, but the truth of the matter is, I am what I am because of my choices.
I must confess that there are a lot of bad choices I have made throughout my life. I will not name them right here, in fact, I'm trying to forget most of them. It’s a good thing I can’t relive yesterday.
However, I have made a few choices that I have made in my life that has been very good. I don't focus on my bad choices because I can get discouraged. But, I do focus on my good choices because that's a real source of encouragement.
I must say that the best choice that I've ever made in my life was marrying the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. I'm really not sure it was my choice, but I will take credit for it.
While we were dating, we were once traveling with a group of people, and as we were sitting together, she said something like, "Wouldn't it be nice to get married?"
I thought it was a rhetorical question; how was I to know it was an unofficial proposal.
In my naivety, I said, "It sure would be nice."
Well, in that regard, that was a choice I made.
It also was a prophecy. I did not know I was a prophet. But when I said it would be "nice," I was precisely on target. It has been nice.
In August of this year, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and her husband will celebrate 50 years of marital bliss. I can't believe it's that long; I must've been very young when it took place.
But 50 years can go by very fast. So after celebrating your wedding for 49 years, what can you do that's different for the 50th anniversary?
I hear a lot about couples having difficulties and problems and arguments in their marriage. Even some of my friends have got to the place where they just divorce as if that solves problems.
I must say that during these 50 years of marital bliss, we have had very few arguments.
That is except for one major conflict.
Our one argument is the Broccoli/Apple Fritter controversy. Up to this point, neither of us has budged either way.
It is a good thing I didn't know she was a broccoli-holic, or I might have had second thoughts. How anybody can like broccoli is beyond my comprehension.
On her side, if she knew I was an Apple Fritter-holic, she might have had second thoughts as well.
As much as I can remember, this has been the only controversy that we've had.
In retrospect, it is a good thing I didn't know about this, and probably it's good that she didn't know about me. That controversy could've kept us from getting married and then look at what we would have missed in life.
She once suggested that we switch, and for one week, I eat broccoli every day, and she will eat an Apple fritter every day.
I tried to consider that but only for one half of a second. So if we did that, I would be the great loser, and she would get to enjoy an Apple Fritter everyday for a week. That didn't sound fair to me.
As we celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary, we still will hang on to these personal preferences.
Just because there are some things that we don’t agree on doesn’t mean there are not some things that we actually do agree on.
For example, this past week, we decided to go out for supper at a local restaurant. It's been a long week and many things were happening that you just can't prepare for, so we deserved a little bit of a break.
As we got to the end of our meal, the waitress came by to see if we wanted dessert, and of course, we did.
Almost simultaneously, we said, "I'll have an apple pie à la mode," which was the featured dessert on the menu.
We looked at each other and broke out laughing. The waitress laughed with us, and then she went to get the dessert.
It was then I realized there are things that do bring us together. I never thought of it before, but apple pie à la mode was the one thing that brought us together and the one thing that we could agree on.
We've known each other for about 50 years, and I just realized the one thing that we do have in common. So we talked about it for a few moments, and the topic was, "What was your favorite pie à la mode?"
For me, it's tough to pick out my favorite pie. But, if there's a bad pie, I've never encountered it.
Finally, I brought it all together by saying, "Any pie à la mode is my kind of pie."
Later on, I was reminded of one of my favorite verses in the Bible. “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3).
Walking together for 50 years has been a great blessing. We don’t focus on our disagreements but rather on those things that we agree on. As the years have gone by, what we agree on has become more important.
[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 352-216-3025 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The church web site is www.whatafellowship.com.]