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The worst of times, and worster

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The Rev. James Snyder

 

Whenever anybody says things can’t get any worse, they usually do. No matter how bad something is, there is always a good chance it will get worse. Experience may not be my best teacher, but sometimes it’s the only teacher on duty.

This is where I have a wee bit of a conflict with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. She is always looking on the bright side of things. Sometimes her cheery disposition is a little more than I can handle. No matter how bad the situation may be, she can always find something good in it.

“There’s a little bit of good in everything, you just have to look for it.”

For me, experience has taught that too often the look isn’t worth the find.

A recent event brought to light our differences of outlook in life.

I have two sets of keys to my pickup and last week I lost one set. I was all a dither and did not know what I was going to do. Then my wife said, “At least you didn’t lose your pickup.”

It was not so much what she said, as how she said it. I knew exactly what she meant.

Several weeks ago, I borrowed her car to go to Walmart and get some things for a project I was working on. At the time, I had my project on my mind and was not thinking too clearly about what I was doing. The fact that I got to the store comes very near to a miracle in and of itself. I got the things I needed and came out to get into my pickup and get back to my office to complete my project.

Much to my chagrin, I could not find my pickup. I walked up and down the parking lot looking, looking but to no avail. My pickup was nowhere to be found. Several pickups looked like mine, but my keys would not open any of them.

Fortunately, I had my cell phone on my person. Normally, I do not carry my cell phone with me wherever I go. Frankly, I do not want to be that easy to get a hold of unless it is a real emergency. And by emergency, I mean where my life is in imminent danger.

I stalled as long as I could, reluctant to call my wife but finally, out of sheer desperation, I called her. Sometimes a husband has to do what a husband has to do and I had to call my wife. This is a last resort, at least for Yours Truly. You can stand in the middle of a parking lot looking lost for so long before someone calls the authorities. I knew I had to take quick action.

I called my wife. “I lost my truck. I looked all over the parking lot and I can’t find my truck. I don’t know what to do.”

There was a long, awkward pause on the other end of the phone. Finally, her voice came back and said, “I’m looking at your pickup in our driveway. Where in the world are you?”

It then dawned on me. I did not lose my pickup but rather drove my wife’s car. This is what I mean by something going from bad to worse. For the rest of my life my gracious and loving wife will find creative ways of reminding me that I really did not lose my truck.

My wife can see a silver lining in every cloud. I see a cloud in every silver lining.

When it’s raining, my wife always looks for the rainbow. I usually look for an umbrella.

To her, a glass is half-full, while to me it is half-empty.

On those rare occasions when we go shopping together, I invariably lose a quarter and she will find a dollar bill.

All of this positive thinking is positively discouraging and a person can only take so much positive gobbledy-gook.

By Friday, she is soaring high because her week has gotten better and better. Whereas, by Friday, I am dragging under a heavy load of things that has gotten worse for me.

Even when she has a bad week she cheerfully says, “Next week will be better, I’m sure.”

When I have a bad week I drearily say, “Next week it will surely get worse.” And it usually does.

She keeps telling me that if I just would entertain good and positive thoughts I would have happy things happen to me.

 She might be right. 

But some people do not deserve being happy and I think I am one of those people. At least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

I did find my lost set of keys. Ironically, they were exactly where I left them. On my dresser. Of course, I have not told my wife I found them. Let’s just keep this as our little secret.

Thinking on these things, I concluded, no life is all bad, and no life is all good. It is amazing how life is a mixture of these two things. Jesus said, “That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matthew 5:45 KJV).

In reality, no day is any worse than any other day.

 

The Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala. He lives with his wife, Martha, in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 352-687-4240 or e-mail jamessnyder2@att.net. The church website is www.whatafellowship.com.