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OUT TO PASTOR: Another vacation in the bank

The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I arrived home from our vacation late Tuesday afternoon.

I’m not one for vacations, but this one was special. Our grandson who lives in Ohio was graduating from high school and then this summer he would be heading off to London for some soccer group. He loves soccer.

This is the second of our grandchildren to graduate from high school. I would not say this to everybody but, this year is the 50th anniversary of my graduation from high school. I cannot believe it has been that long. I must have fallen asleep for several years without waking up.

To see a grandson graduate from high school and then look at my graduation picture 50 years ago I was amazed. How can he be as old as I was? What he does not understand is that one day he will be as old as I am. I will not be the one to tell him that.

My ambitions in life have never included vacations. A vacation is where you go, but don’t do anything. I don't like that. It is not that I’m a workaholic; I like to work all the time.

When on vacation, I lose time because I’m not working. I like to organize my day around my work projects.

There are no work projects on vacation. At least, that’s what my wife says, and she would never lie to me.

I like to keep track of my time as much as possible. When home and working at the office, I am in control of my time. That is when I am the happiest.

Now, when on vacation, I have no control of my time. The word vacation means to vacate and I am not quite sure what I am vacating. I guess one thing I am vacating is time.

When I was home working I noticed there are seven days of the week. One week equals seven days, every week, of every month, of every year. Yet, when on vacation, particularly the one I was just on, there seems to be only three days in that week. What is the story behind all that?

It takes two days to drive there and then two days to drive back home. In the middle are only three days left! How can you enjoy a week's vacation in only three days? Something is wrong here.

I believe that when you take a week's vacation the travel time should not be included.

I would like to know who in the world come up with this idea of a “week’s vacation” time. How can I enjoy vacationing when four days out of that week I have to sit in the car driving? It does not sound fair to me.

So many things wrong with that idea that I do not know where to start. However, I do know where to stop. That would be, stop having vacations. That would solve that problem.

I made the mistake of expressing my thoughts audibly, while the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage was present. I thought I was just thinking to myself, but it turned out my lips were moving. Oh, how I hate it when my lips move like that.

“What do you mean,” my wife said rather seriously, “stop having vacations?”

See what I mean. You solve one problem and another problem, were dangerous in the first problem, pops up. How do I answer that question?

After all, my wife lives for vacations. As soon as one vacation is over, she has the next vacation already planned.

“Stop having vacations,” is something that I have had to retract at least audibly. So I had to explain to her, “My dear, I didn’t say stop having vacations, I meant to say stop hating vacations.” Then I flashed a smile in her direction.

“That is much better,” she said with an infectious giggle. “You know how much I really love these vacations.”

One thing I have learned as a veteran husband is that if you love what your wife loves your life will be wonderful. I really do not have to love what she loves, but if I love her, it does not matter what she loves.

Driving back from our vacation, which my wife did all the driving, I said one thing that made the drive worth driving. “Don’t we have wonderful grandchildren?”

She is still smiling over that one. So am I.

In the silence of our drive home, I began to think of what our Lord said. “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44).

Love is a very important thing, from Jesus’ perspective. You can tell a lot about a person by what and how they love. I’m going to take Jesus’ advice and just love whatever is in front of me.

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 . The church web site is

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