Cultivating the fine art of casual loafing
Storm clouds were brewing like fresh morning coffee in the normally placid parsonage this past week. I will not say that things got out of hand, which is not to say they did not. I just will not say.
I sensed a growing controversy between my wife and myself. Its genesis came about because of some silly mix-up, I assure you. Usually, mix-ups come about because of some misunderstanding and boy, do I sure miss my understanding. I have misplaced mine for so long I honestly cannot remember when I had it last.
If my memory serves me, and it has not to date, the last time I had a glimpse of my understanding, I was standing at some altar repeating the words, “I do.” After that, life has been a glorious blur.
The faux pas between us simply was a matter of attitude. My better half took the high road and I, per usual, took the low road. The reason I take the low road is simply that when I fall, and falling for me is inevitable, I do not have far to plummet.
Regrettably, this past week we experienced a clash of attitudes.
I can sum up my attitude in life quite nicely: Never do today what can be put off until tomorrow. Who knows? I may forget the whole thing by then, something I am renowned for around the parsonage, if you know what I mean.
On the other hand, my life’s companion firmly believes in doing things ahead of time. For instance, by the end of August all her Christmas shopping is finished, wrapped and stored in the garage waiting for the Christmas tree.
She has a wonderful knack for planning. What I want to know is how does she know if I am going to be naughty or nice?
Usually, I give in to my better half. After all, that is what a great marriage is all about; give and take. As a dutiful husband, I take everything she gives me.
This time, however, an important principle was at stake. Some things in life are worth fighting for and this represented one of those times.
For years, I have suffered from a condition known as Afternoon Siesta Syndrome. Each afternoon I stretch out for an hour of rest. In that hour, I meditate on some of the more important issues of life.
I cannot tell you how many significant problems I have resolved during my daily afternoon forty winks. I say I can’t tell you not because I don’t want to, but when aroused from my snooze I can’t remember the solution.
All I know is that somewhere in the recesses of my mind are wonderful resolutions to some of the most intricate problems facing our world today. In this regard, I do not know how often my wife has said to me, “You need to see a psychiatrist.”
This leads me to the subject of our difference this past week.
I am a firm believer in the “Art of Casual Loafing.”
Loafing gets such a bad rap because so many amateurs try their hand at it. Let me say right here that loafing is definitely not for the inexperienced. A level of skill and expertise that only comes from diligent practice.
Personally, I have invested over 50 years in the Art of Casual Loafing, which qualifies me as some sort of an expert on the subject. I am a proud, card-carrying member of the ACL union. I could have been elected president but we have not got around to elections yet. Many, and when I say many, I am especially including my companion, take loafing as something that comes rather easy.
Oh, quite contraire, Mon Frére. Nothing could be further from the truth.
My spouse thinks loafing is a tragic waste of time. She thinks things need doing in a timely fashion, like “right now.”
The garbage must be taken out “right now.”
The backyard needs mowing “right now.”
The groceries in the back of the car need brought in “right now.”
A person can take this “right now” business too far, if you ask me. I like to take things a little more casual than that.
This “right now” hang-up can create some serious stress in relationships; especially between hers and mine.
“There’s no time like the present,” my wife often tells me with a look in her eye defying me not to do what she just requested. To her,”right now” is very important.
When I want to resolve a difficulty, I resort to the Bible. This was no exception. Much to my amazement, the word “now” occurs in the Bible 1,356 times, which is rather impressive. I never thought of it before.
What I discovered startled me. I had to admit that in certain things my dear wife is correct. Some things must be done right now.
Two Bible verses emphasize the importance of right now.
In the book of Isaiah, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1:18 KJV). Then, in the New Testament “… behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2 KJV).
“Right now” is the best time to address your relationship with Jesus Christ.
The 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 352-687-4240 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The church website is www.whatafellowship.com.