I must confess that I'm not always obvious to everything that is before me. I admit I miss a lot of things set before me. I don’t do this intentionally.
For example, sometimes, when I come home from the church office, I pass the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage, and she is waving at me, but I don't see her.
When I get home, she confronts me about it. I know it happened because, well, she told me it happened. I wasn't very obvious of the situation at the time.
Some things I see, some things I don't see. And I'm not sure the difference between either one. I don't know why I miss some things and not others. But I do, and I guess that's part of my personality.
I know I have ten toes, five on each foot, and one on each foot is a big toe. I have known that since I could recognize things. I will not tell you how long that is because my calculator doesn't go up that high.
In the morning, when I get up, I stumble to the kitchen to get my morning cup of coffee. Without that cup of coffee, I have no idea what I'm doing or where I'm going. That's the reason God gave us coffee. I don't plan anything before my coffee.
Several times I have to go to the doctor to get blood work done. I have to fast before I go, and that means no coffee. I told the nurse that was extracting my blood, "Are you sure you want me here before I have my coffee?"
Looking at me, she smiled and said, "It's okay. Remember, I have the needle."
I did remember. There are times when she can extract blood without any pain whatsoever.
Then there are those other times that I will not talk about right now.
Before my coffee in the morning, I'm not exactly sure what I'm doing.
Being oblivious to things around me can catch up when I least expect it.
The other day when I got up, I think my eyes were open, but I'm not sure. I stumbled out into the kitchen to get my morning coffee.
On the way there, I heard a loud scream like a Comanche on the warpath and found myself dancing, and I don't dance. After a few seconds, I felt a pain coming from several of my toes up to the top of my head.
I had no idea what happened. I looked down and saw blood squirting out, I saw several toenails splintered, and two of my toes were black and blue.
Before I could end my screaming and dancing, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage came into the room and asked, "What in the world did you do?"
Of course, when anything happens in our house, it's always my fault. But I wasn't in the mood at that time to debate whose fault it was. At the time, I didn't care whose fault it was; it was the pain in my toes that captured all of my attention.
I couldn't answer her. I simply pointed down to my toes and let out another Comanche scream.
Somehow in walking down to the hallway, I smashed my toes into something that resisted them completely. To this day, I don't know what in the world my toes ran into. They've never revealed that secret to me.
Fortunately, the Gracious Nurse of the Parsonage was able to take care of my toe’s situation. If I can break it, she can fix it.
Up to this point, I never paid any attention to my toes. Since that time, every time I walk, my toes remind me of the incident. I try not to limp because I'm not going to give those toes any credit at all. I'm going to walk despite their aggravation.
I've had some time to think about that little incident, and I began wondering how many other things in my life have I been oblivious to? What am I not paying attention to?
I have the opinion that when something bad happens, use it as a lesson. What is the lesson here?
The lesson here is to pay attention to everything around you. That is quite a chore for me, and I'm working on it, but I'm not quite there yet.
I almost got in a traffic scrape the other day. Now when I'm out driving, I'm always looking to see if the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage is driving by waving at me.
I do have one gripe, but I don't want to make it known to everybody. But every morning when I get up and come to the kitchen for my coffee, someone who shall remain anonymous always says, "How's your toes this morning?"
Usually, I will mumble back, "Fine; they're all fine."
During this whole time, I had some serious thought about why I have to have ten toes? What is the purpose of all those toes?
I've been given a lot of thought to this, and in my devotions the other morning, this verse of Scripture was present. "Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee” (Proverbs 4:25).
I'm not sure why I have ten toes, but after this experience, I will give attention to my toes, but I'm going to give more attention to my eyes.
[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.]