By Dr. James L. Snyder
Thinking is not my strong suit by any stretch of the imagination. Every time I start thinking, I either get a headache or get into trouble. I’m not sure which is worse, the headache or the trouble.
In my normal pursuit of life, thinking sits in the backseat. If there is an emergency, thinking may come forward and help out. However, in the meantime, thinking is not something I like to do on a regular basis.
That is my side. On the other side, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage is always thinking. Most of the time, she is thinking about jobs I should be doing. I don’t know how she does it, but she can come up with a list of “honey-do’s” that will occupy all my time. Of course, I must confess, while I am doing these “honey-do’s” I am thinking, but not thoughts I would like to come out into the public arena.
I do not really have to think that much because my wife thinks for me. How she does it is beyond me, but she knows what I am thinking three days before that thought enters my head. At least, that’s what she tells me and she would not lie to me.
I have learned through the years that there are several questions that I should never ask my wife. One is, “Honey, what are you doing?”
You would think after decades of interaction with her I would know what to say and what not to say. Because I don’t give much to thinking, I usually speak without thinking, which always gets me into trouble. If I could think through something, I just might escape the trouble that I get into.
Just the other day I came home from working at the office and my wife was sitting in the chair and I asked “the” question. “Honey, what are you doing?”
My wife knows how to ask questions and is very skillful at asking the right question. The other side is that she knows how to answer questions to such a degree that gets me into difficulty. How she manages this is beyond my wildest imagination. Of course, if I would think about it, maybe I could come up with an answer, but who has time to think these days?
Without any delay, she responded to my inquiry by saying, “I was just thinking…”
As soon as she said that, I knew I was in trouble. Why don’t I keep my questions to myself? Why must I always fall into that trap she lays for me?
“I was just thinking,” she said without giving me any opportunity to respond, “that we ought to go to the mall this afternoon and do a little bit of shopping.”
Her “little bit of shopping” has nothing to do with the word “little,” but a lot to do with the word, “cash.” She has the idea that if you buy something with a credit card, no cash is involved.
The last place on earth I want to go to is the shopping mall. I must confess that I have a little bit of a drug problem here. When I go to the mall with my wife, I am drug from one store to another store to another store until I have completely lost any sense of reality.
I am not sure if there is a solution to this kind of a drug problem. If there is, I would like to know about it.
“Well,” I said as hesitatingly as possible, “we might not have enough time to go this afternoon to the shopping mall.”
“I was just thinking,” she responded, “that we could go to the shopping mall this afternoon and then stop by a restaurant and have supper out together. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? What do you think?”
If I had just the energy to think through this kind of thing, I would have guessed that she had an ulterior motive in going to the shopping mall.
“If we go out for supper tonight,” she explained, “we will have plenty of time to go to the mall this afternoon.” With that, she smiled one of those contagious smiles that I have not yet been able to resist.
Driving to the mall that afternoon I had a variety of thoughts jingling through my mind. One predominant thought was, “How much is this going to cost?”
Although my wife thinks a lot, this is one area where her thinking never penetrates. I suppose that is my responsibility to think about the money aspect of everything. The problem is, the more I think about it, the less I really like it.
As we were coming home after supper at the restaurant my wife said, “I was just thinking what a wonderful afternoon this was. I’m glad you came up with this idea.”
I pondered about that for a while and could not remember when I came up with this idea. I thought it would be better for me just to go along with her thought, which would make everybody in the car happy.
As we were driving home, I happened to think of a passage in the Old Testament. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord” (Isaiah 55:8).
I may not be big on thinking, but I take comfort in the fact that God thinks about me all the time.