OUT TO PASTOR: And then, there it was
It is not that I do not like to travel; I just don’t like to leave home. I am quite comfortable at home where I have everything I need within easy reach.
Sometimes I have to travel to a conference or something, which is rather inconvenient for me. However, as my friend used to say, “That’s life.”
According to my calculations, I would have to travel 13 hours to get to my destination. I pondered for a long time whether it was worth it or not. Then the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage said, “Go ahead. You need a break.”
What she meant by “a break,” was far from my comprehension at the time. I guess she needed a break from me, which is my personal opinion.
However, taking her advice I packed my bags and prepared for my trip on the road, and, early the next morning I loaded my vehicle and set out on my trip.
I must say that driving by yourself and being alone does have its advantages. After the first hour or so, I lost track of what those advantages really were. Talking to myself is the most boring conversation I could ever have.
I got to my conference on schedule and moved into my hotel room. I had a few hours before the conference started so I was able to stretch out on the bed and relax.
Then I got up and went to the conference. For the next few days, I spent going to the conference and coming back to my hotel room. I will confess, if you promise not to tell anyone, I did have a good time and some wonderful fellowship.
The time came for me to pack up, get on the road again and go home.
After packing my vehicle, I stood for a moment and sighed very deeply. Being as weary as I was, I was not looking forward to the long travel home.
In one of the towns I passed through, they had several signs. Normally I do not pay much attention to signs, but in this case, I was a little curious. After all, I was bored.
In the middle of this little town was a big sign that said “Watch the Children.” I pulled over, parked my vehicle, rolled down the window and for the next 30 minutes I looked for the children. No children were around so how could I actually watch the children if there was no children? After all, there was a sign instructing me to watch the children.
Finally, after finding no children to watch, I decided to get back in the saddle again and continue home. A few blocks later, I saw another sign, “Thrift Store in Rear.” I did not even look! Nobody is going to trick me with that! I do fall for many things, but I do have my limit.
Driving through one town, I realized I was in Lancaster County Pennsylvania. Therefore, with that in mind, I decided to stop at a good old time country restaurant. No better place for good food.
I sat down, looked at the menu and for once in my trip, I saw some things that attracted my appetite. Ordering a very nice lunch encouraged me a little bit, although I was still a little down and had a long way to go. I was weary in body and soul.
Finishing my meal, the waitress came by and ask, “Sir, would you like some dessert?” Then she handed me the dessert menu. At the time, I was not hungry.
I took the menu opened it up, and then, there it was. All the hardships and boredom of my trip had come to a complete end. I could not believe what I was seeing on that dessert menu.
I could not remember how long it was since I had one of those desserts. But there it was! A slice of old-fashioned Amish shoofly pie. That got my heart thumping! There is no dessert quite like Amish shoofly pie.
Whoever invented the shoofly pie should get the Nobel Peace Prize. I know of no peace quite like a piece of shoofly pie.
“Have you decided on your dessert?”
I looked at the waitress and smiled like I had not smiled all week.
“I will have,” I said as dignified as I could, “a piece of your shoofly pie.”
“Good choice, Sir.”
And boy, was it a good choice! I savored every bite of that shoofly pie. It made the rest of the trip a delicious delight.
Thinking of that pie was the great delight for the rest of my travel. I understood David when he wrote, “Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart” (Psalm 37:4).
Oftentimes I get so busy that all I can think about is the task before me. I am learning that in the midst of the busiest of tasks I can experience a wonderful delight in the Lord.
Dr. James L. Snyder, pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, lives with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage in Ocala, FL. Call him at 352-687-4240 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org . The church web site is www.whatafellowship.com.