Fifty years ago, I was a teenager. Boy, do I miss those Days of Yore. It's not that I would like to relive them, but I was a much different person back then.
As a teenager, I knew everything, and all you had to do was ask me. Even if you didn't ask me, I still would tell you what was on my mind. I wished I knew everything today because people are asking me questions I can’t even answer.
Towards the end of last week, I came home from the office, situated myself in my easy chair with my coffee, and began watching the news. It went from one story to another story, and it was hard to tell the difference between any of them.
To say I was getting a little irritated is to put it rather mildly. It's not often that I get irritated at anything, but watching the news really made me irritated that night. Maybe it was because I had a hard week or something, I'm not sure. But I was irritated.
Finally, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage joined me, and I could hold it back no longer.
Taking a deep breath, raising my right fist, I said, "If it were only up to me. I'd fix that problem. What's wrong with those stupid politicians?"
When I calmed down a little bit, I heard some chuckling across the room. I'm not used to hearing chuckling across the room, and so I did not know what was going on. I looked, and wouldn't you know it, it was the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage laughing.
“What are you laughing about?”
Looking at me, still chuckling, she said, "Are you sure you could fix that problem?"
I wasn't quite sure what she was getting at, and at this point, I was not going to jeopardize my happiness by asking her to explain what she just said.
I did not have to ask her because as she cooled down her chuckling, she began to explain why she was chuckling. I didn't want to hear it.
"If you can fix that problem," she said, still chuckling, "I have a list of problems that I would like you to fix." With that said, she continued chuckling.
At the time, I did not find it worth chuckling, but I did realize I had dug a hole that I'm not going to get out of very easily.
Still chuckling, she continued, "Which problem would you like to start with? You can pick whichever one you want."
Trying to smile as best I could, which at the time was quite tricky, I said, "I was just speaking parenthetically. I'm just a little upset that our politicians don't do the work that they say they're going to do."
"That's okay, and I understand," my wife said, "you now can set the example by taking this list and begin fixing one problem after another."
This is why I am very careful what I say out loud. Somebody is always listening.
As we were sitting there, I was reminded of what that wise old King Solomon once said. “In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise” (Proverbs 10:19).
Solomon had more wives than I can count, and perhaps that was why he came to this wonderful piece of wisdom. It's easy to say something, but once you do, you can never unsay it.
[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 352-687-4240 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The church web site is www.whatafellowship.com.]