Have you ever had a week where everything went just perfect? Neither have I.
Every Monday morning, I plan a perfect week, and I try my best to stick to that plan.
My problem is simple, I do not know the meaning of the word "perfect." So I asked The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage once, she looked at me and said with a smile, "Just watch me."
I flashed a smile back at her, knowing exactly what she was saying. I also knew that if I were as perfect as she was, she would not know how perfect she really was. I believe it's part of my responsibility as a husband to show her how perfect she is every day. I hope someday to get a Nobel Peace Prize for this.
My plans are quite simple, I just want to have somewhat of a perfect week. To have a perfect week, I need to have a perfect plan. To have a perfect plan, I need to have perfect ideas. Thus, I have a great challenge before me.
Recently my week wasn't going very well, and I was getting a little, well, what should I say, grouchy.
Normally I'm never grouchy, so I did not know how to be grouchy until I was at the grocery store and saw the epitome of Mr. Grouchy.
I'm not sure the basis of this guy's grouchiness, but from my point of view, he has practiced this all his life. If there ever was a Mr. Grouchy, it was this guy. At the time, I had a little bit of pity for his wife. But, of course, I didn't know if he was married or not. If he was, she deserves my pity.
Not only could you see his grouchy demeanor, but he followed that up and supported it with words that I cannot repeat in public. Let me just say he was well-versed in French.
My curiosity got the best of me, and I just wanted to know more about him. I couldn't go up and talk to him, I knew how that would turn out. So, I followed him throughout the store from a distance and watched and listened. That afternoon, I got a Ph.D. in Groucholgy.
During these times, stores are not as well-stocked as they used to be. For example, I can't find the cans of cat food I used to get for my cats. They're just not there. And, many other things aren't on the shelves anymore.
Obviously, Mr. Grouchy did not know that the rough times we were going through were affecting our stores.
I didn't know all of the things he was looking for because his French got in the way of understanding what he was saying. Obviously, he couldn't find what he wanted, which fueled his grouchiness.
Soon one of the employees walked by, and Mr. Grouchy caught him and angrily told him a thing or two, No, make that a dozen, but then I stopped counting. Obviously, Mr. Grouchy knew more about the store than this poor employee. So I would say he was giving the employee a piece of his mind, but he's a sorry person if that was his mind he was giving.
"Is there anything I can do to help you?" The employee asked. After he asked that I'm sure he wished that he had never asked that question.
For the next 10 minutes, Mr. Grouchy lectured the store employee on what he should be doing. I couldn't help but stand in the aisle next to him and just listen to his lecture. I'm sure the store employee learned quite a bit from Mr. Grouchy’s lecture.
I want to go back someday and meet up with the store employee and ask him how much he learned from those lectures.
When Mr. Grouchy paused to catch his breath the store employee said, "Please forgive me, but I have an appointment to go to, and I'm late for it." With that, he hurried away as fast as ever. I think I know what appointment he had and I'll ask him when I see him.
Even after the store employee had departed for his "appointment," Mr. Grouchy continued the lecturing in his outdoor voice.
Then Mr. Grouchy realized that the store employee wasn't there. So he looked around and yelled, "Hey, where are you? Get back here."
I was so tempted to answer that question, and it took every resource I had available to keep from answering.
Finally, he went to the checkout counter and told the cashier how miserable his visit was in the store, while she rang up his purchases.
I wasn't too far behind, and I slowly came up to the same cashier to check out my things. I looked at her, smiled, and said, "Aren't you glad there are customers like me?" Then she laughed.
As I got in my vehicle to drive home, I realized that my week wasn't quite as crazy as Mr. Grouchy.
Driving home I was reminded of a verse of Scripture. “This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger;” (James 1:19).
Everybody faces moments of anger. The key is not to let those anger moments control your attitude at the time. When I control my tongue everything else is under control,
[Dr. James L. Snyder lives in Ocala, FL with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. Telephone 1-352-216-3025, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Website is www.jamessnyderministries.com.]