For example, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage on Monday morning hands me her “honey-do-list” to complete by the end of the week. When she hands it to me, I smile and underneath that list I have concealed from her my “to-do-list.”
It is not that I ignore her list… well, maybe I do. But, I don’t do it on purpose… well, maybe I do.
I have a priority with my “to-do-list” and most times forget about hers.
Through the years, I have become an expert at making excuses about why her “honey-do-list” has not been fully completed by me on time. If there is an excuse to be found anywhere in the room, I have it in my pocket.
Most of the time I get away with it. I am not bragging here, although I lean slightly in that direction. But I have my own things I need to do for the week.
If I do not write down my “to-do-list,” I will never remember what I am supposed to be doing. I have a good memory, but I am saving it for when I am older and I will need more memory. Of course, by that time I will forget everything I have remembered.
When it comes to memory, my wife beats the band. She remembers everything that has ever happened. Even those things that, from my opinion, never happened.
Quite often, she starts a conversation by saying, “Do you remember when… “
Then she goes on with a story that for the life of me I cannot remember. Instead of embarrassing myself, I go along with it and tell her, “Oh, yes I remember that.”
It is easier to go along than to cause any kind of friction. I have no advantage in contradicting any story that she might be telling. So far, I’ve gotten away with it, I’m happy to say.
That is, until once when telling a story she said, “Do you remember the name of that person?”
At the time, I did not know if it was a trick question to see if I am really paying attention or if she did not remember. I am going with the former because of all the years I have known her I cannot remember anything that she has ever forgotten.
Forgetting at times can be a blessing. If someone does something against you and hurts your feelings, the best thing to do is to move ahead and forget it.
Probably the worst area to forget anything is with your wife. It is not that I intentionally forget, it is just that I forget.
I go into a panic when she says, “Do you remember… ” Because I probably have forgotten what she’s talking about at the time.
Another problem I have is my attention span. When my wife begins a long story, it is very difficult for me to pay close attention. By the time she’s into the middle of her story, I’m thinking of something on my “to-do-list.”
She can tell me a story 17 times and I’m always hearing it for the very first time.
After finishing one of her stories, the friends listening, turned to me and said, “Is that what really happened?”
What am I to say? As long as they don’t ask me to verify certain elements of that story, I can go ahead and say, “Yes, as best as I remember, that’s how it happened.”
I got in trouble one time. She was telling a story and in the middle she turned to me and said, “Honey, would you tell them the rest of the story for me?”
I cannot remember how I got out of that spot, but it was the most difficult spot I have ever been in. If I make something up, will she correct me in front of all our friends?
I’m not sure about this, but one time she did it on purpose to catch me. Not wanting to embarrass her or me in particular, I made up the rest of the story as best I could. As long as the people were laughing when I finished was all that really mattered.
It was Friday morning and my wife looked at me and said, “It’s Friday. Are you ready to go?”
“Go where?” Not knowing what she was talking about.
You did look at the “honey-do-list” I gave you on Monday, didn’t you?
With a little bit of a stutter, I assured her that I had.
“Then,” she said rather sarcastically, “you know what we’re doing today?”
I had no idea what she was talking about. Finally, out of desperation, I did look at the “honey-do-list.” There in bold letters I could never have overlooked were these words, “Friday take your wife out for a special Mother’s Day celebration dinner.”
I looked at her, then looked at the list and looked back at her.
“You didn’t look at that list on Monday, did you?”
I could not help but think of what Solomon said. “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest” (Ecclesiastes 9:10).
We had a wonderful lunch that Friday, a lunch I will remember for a long time.
Since 1997, Rev. James L. Snyder has written a weekly religion/humor column, “Out To Pastor,” syndicated to over 300 newspapers and many websites. The Rev. Snyder is an award winning author whose writings have appeared in more than eighty periodicals including GUIDEPOSTS. In Pursuit of God: The Life of A. W. Tozer, Snyder’s first book, won the Reader’s Choice Award in 1992 by Christianity Today. Snyder has authored and edited 30 books altogether.
James L. Snyder was given an honorary doctorate degree (Doctor of Letters) by Trinity College in Florida. His weekly humor column, “Out To Pastor,” is syndicated to more than 325 weekly newspapers.
Through 45 years of ministry, he and his wife Martha have been involved in three church-planting projects prior to their current ministry at the Family of God Fellowship in Ocala, Florida. The Snyders have three children and nine grandchildren and one great-grandson.