If you had the opportunity to speak to the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage, she would probably tell you that one of my strengths is forgetting. I'm not sure how far into the subject she would get.
When it comes to forgetting, I am outstanding on the back lawn, and my expertise in this area is beyond description.
There is nothing I cannot forget. Also, I can forget things that never happened. So please don't ask me how because I have forgotten.
Unfortunately, this aspect of my personality is not very favorable with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. She, contrary to me, never forgets anything, and if she happens to forget something, it never happened.
Forgetting is not a matter of age, because I could forget many things when I was in first grade, like my homework. I told the teacher several times that my dog ate my homework, but I had forgotten that I did not have a dog at the time.
I'm not sure what I have missed out in life by forgetting this or that. It might be good not to know what I have forgotten.
One day this past week, I had been working hard all day, sweating like a pig and was worn out. It was towards the end of the afternoon, and the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage came in, looked at me and said, "Are you ready to go?"
That question caught me off guard because I had no idea what she was talking about. I thought she was joking, so I replied to her by saying, "I'm sorry, I'm already gone." Then I laughed.
She looked at me and was not laughing, so I put two and two together and came up with the solution that I was in trouble. This is the one thing that I have not forgotten in our relationship. I always know when I'm in trouble. But for the life of me, and it was my life on the line, I couldn't figure out what she was talking about.
"Don't you remember we have an appointment this afternoon with some friends?"
I responded by saying, "I guess I have forgotten."
Looking at me, she scowled and said, "Hurry up; we have to leave in five minutes."
Another idea invaded my tiny gray cells, and that was, I had forgotten to take a bath after my workload this afternoon.
"But," I tried to explain to my wife, "I haven't taken a bath yet."
"I know," she said sarcastically, "I can smell it from here."
In my condition, it would take me over a half hour to shower. Then, another half hour to get dressed for the occasion. On my way to the bathroom, I realized I was in grave trouble.
Forgetting is not that serious. It's what you forget that makes the difference.
I forgot to take a bath that afternoon after my work session, and therefore I put my wife and myself in serious trouble with our friends.
We made up for it and worked everything out, thankfully.
There are other things that I forget that get me into trouble.
If I forget to brush my teeth some morning, it makes no difference. If I forget to shave one morning, that in itself doesn't make much of a difference. There are many things that I can forget that make no difference at all.
Looking back, I remember the first time I forgot our wedding anniversary. That is something that does make a difference. It was an expensive experience that I have never forgotten.
I found out that wives always remember anniversaries and special dates.
I can't forget her birthday because it is two days after my birthday. If she gets me a birthday card on my birthday and maybe a present, I have two days to get her birthday card and a present. That has worked out very well throughout the years.
The problem is, there is no reminder to me of our wedding anniversary. Yes, I do know when we were married, how in the world could I ever forget that? But, throughout the years, time goes by so fast that I forget it's our anniversary coming up.
Then there is the subject of our family's birthdays. I'm not sure, but I think someone in our family has a birthday every month, and I have no idea whose it is. I can't even remember our children's birthday.
The day they were born was a very special day, but I can't remember when it comes up after all these years.
Several years ago, I worked out a solution to this. I don't have to know whose birthday it is on any given month. My wife knows it exactly. She knows the day and the hour that all her relatives were born.
What I do at the beginning of each month is casually float a question to her, "Whose birthday is it this month?" Then I smile a very infection smile in her direction.
One time she smiled back at me and said, "This month is your birthday."
I thought about one of my favorite verses of Scripture. "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits:" (Psalm 103:2).
I may forget many things, but I work hard at not forgetting God's benefits in my life. God’s benefits are the richest blessings I have in this life.
[Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, Ocala, FL 34483, where he lives with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. Telephone 1-352-216-3025, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Website is www.jamessnyderministries.com.]