Where in my schedule did January go?
I take a certain amount of well deserved, if I say so myself, pride in keeping to a well organized schedule; my to-do-list. If it is on that list, I am going to do it, regardless of the difficulty attached. The trick is to get on that list which I guard with my very life.
Not that I worship my to-do-list, but I do reverence it with a great deal of deep personal appreciation. I think long and hard before anything appears on my to-do-list. Once something is on my to-do-list, there it is for all and sundry to gape upon it. It is a deep honor for anything to be put on my to-do-list.
Another reason I take my time in putting something on that list is that the only way it can come off is if I actually do it. After all, that list is not supposed to be stared at but rather to inspire activity on my part.
The other night I was busy with my to do list going over each and every item with the utmost care hoping that St. Nick would soon be there. Each item on that list needs to be carefully scrutinized and sometimes even underlined for emphasis. Often I have to recalculate and sort out the items and give them new priorities. I must have been busily engaged for I did not hear the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage address me.
Finally, it dawned on me that somebody, other than my inner conscience, was addressing me. I looked in her direction and said, “Huh?”
“I just said,” she quipped, “what are you so intently engaged in?”
“I’m working on my December to-do-list,” I said with a touch of irritation in my voice for being interrupted during such delicate meditation.
“You’re working on what?”
“My December to-do-list,” I said trying to get back into my sphere of supersensitive concentration.
There was silence for a bit and then my residential companion broke said silence by saying, “You do know what month it is, don’t you?”
With an air of sarcasm in my voice I answered, “Of coarse I know what month it is. It’s December and I’m trying to sort out my to-do-list for the month. I think I’ve got just about everything covered.”
Again, there was that silence that you could cut with a butter knife if you had one on your person.
“So,” she said rather thoughtfully. “You are completing your December’s to-do-list. Is that right?”
I grunted my approval and continued with my ultra-concentration work at hand. I really have no time for nonsensical chitchat. My time is valuable; I have work that needs to be done. I cannot be side tracked by every little noise that comes up.
I take great pride in working through my to-do-list each month. It gives me a great sense of satisfaction knowing that I am actually accomplishing something and I have the records to prove it. If somebody would ever come up to me and ask me to prove that I have been busily engaged in profitable activity, all I would have to do is show them my well documented to-do-list.
“I hate to bust your bubble, but…”
I hate when people say they hate to do something and then they go right ahead and do it. I wanted to tell her to save herself a bucket of hate and refrain from busting my bubble, or whatever she was trying to bust at the time.
Then, being the gentleman that I am, I allowed her to say what was on her mind.
“I hate to bust your bubble, but it is February not December.”
Now there was silence from my end of the room. Being the good-natured person that I am, I just burst out laughing.
“Boy,” I said heartily, “you almost got me with that one. I’ll give that one to you.” Then I went back to my work.
“But it is February,” she said more sternly than I have heard her say anything for a long time. “It is now February, not December.”
I had to pause. Normally she does not play tricks on me like this. Most of the time she is an upstanding person and always tells me the truth, even when there are times I do not want to hear the truth.
“You’re sure it’s February?”
She smiled one of those smiles that really irritates me and simply shook her head in the affirmative. I know I am an easy turkey to pluck, but this was actually serious. With the rather stunned tone to my voice I ask, “Whatever happened to January?”
It was then the laughter started. I must say it has not subsided appreciably since. She has a way of rubbing things in when I am wrong. If the tables were turned, and they never are, I would not take advantage of such a situation.
I swallowed my pride, which I have had a lot of practice doing, and began to realize I had been working on a false premise. It was actually February, time had gone by so quick and I was so busy I did not realize how fast it was going.
In Ecclesiastes 3:1, the man of God says, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”
If you are too busy to know what time it is, you are too busy.
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 web site is www.whatafellowship.com.