Rev. James Snyder / 09 DEC 2014 –
In our home the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I have a wonderful tradition.
Really, when you think about it, what is a home without traditions? Many people pretend that they do not have traditions which in and of itself has become a tradition.
Our tradition is that on what is normally called “Black Friday” we do not leave our house except to go out and get the mail. Years ago we did, but those ensuing years have created a sense of wisdom that has brought us to banning any out of the house experience on “Black Friday.”
When we were younger, we had more energy and could run. Now, running is a very fond memory.
I am not that fond of shopping malls in the first place, and in the second place, I do not like to be run over by a mob trying to out buy me.
Thus, our tradition on “Black Friday” is to stay home and appreciate one another’s companionship. It is always good to relish Thanksgiving dinner leftovers, sit back and just enjoy ourselves. I think we also watched a little bit of television.
As we were watching television, a terrible thought wrestled my mind to the mat. I guess my mind is not as strong as it used to be.
The thought was simply this; there is a special holiday that follows Thanksgiving. I did not give it any thought until at this point. That special holiday is Christmas. And Christmas means buying a Christmas present for my wife.
This is always a stressful time for me. After all, what do you get somebody who has everything? She has me! What more could she need. (Don’t tell her I said that.)
Now my mind was racing a thousand miles an hour trying to figure out what I should get her as a Christmas present this year.
I thought maybe if I could remember what I got her last year it might give me some ideas for this year. The harder I thought, the less thoughts came. I could not for the life of me figure out what I had given her last year for Christmas.
I knew at this point I was in serious trouble. I decided I would try to get my wife to tell me what I could get her this year for Christmas.
We were chatting back and forth; she was telling me one story after another. I think there were several stories but it all sounded the same to me. Although I have two ears, they do not seem to be connected. So, in the midst of our chatting I said, “You know Christmas is only a few weeks away.”
I thought that would get some conversation going and in a subtle way I could direct it to what she wanted for Christmas. Boy, was I wrong.
As soon as I said that, all silence broke loose in our living room. I cannot remember the last time it was this quiet when both of us were in the room.
I am not quite sure she has figured me out yet, she probably has. Anybody who has ever attempted to manipulate their wife into disclosing information knows that I was up against the Great Wall of Silence.
I tried to think of another strategy. Then I came up with one.
“How did you like the Christmas present I got you last year?” Thinking I could get her to talk about something that would refresh my memory and lead me in a direction of something for this year.
“Fine, how did you like yours?” she said and went behind the Great Wall of Silence.
Now I was backed into a corner. I could not remember what she gave me for Christmas last year. I tried to crank up the old think-machine, but it seemed to be out of gas. If only I could remember what she got me it might spark me to remember what I got her.
For the next few moments silence reigned queen for the day as I tried to think of how I could get her to tell me something that I could get her for Christmas.
I had another semi-brilliant idea.
“What did we get your mother last year for Christmas?” I thought this might spur some conversation that would lead me to the information I was seeking.
She looked at me and then said, “What did we get her for Christmas last year? I can’t really remember.”
Now, I knew very well she knew what we got her for Christmas last year. If anybody knows how to stonewall their husband, it is the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage.
“What do you think we ought to get her this year?” I asked searchingly. This I thought would spur some conversation.
“I am not quite sure. What do you think she would like?”
At this point, I think my cover is blown. If I am going to get any information out of my wife about what to get her for Christmas, it will not be during my lifetime.
In the quietness, I began to reflect upon some scriptural admonitions. I especially like what David said, “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth” (Psalms 46:10).
It is in the quietness that the reality of God shines the brightest in my heart.
Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, PO Box 831313, Ocala, FL 34483. He lives with his wife, Martha, in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 1-866-552-2543 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or website www.jamessnyderministries.com.