OUT TO PASTOR: Is this a Christmas present or what?
One great blessing of Christmas is presents. Of course, at my age, I am not too interested in what I am getting but rather what I am giving.
I cannot think of one thing I really would want. I got everything I need even though some of it may be old and outdated. As long as it works, I’m happy with that.
Therefore, it is not what I am receiving that is important to me. I love to see the smile on the grandchildren’s face as they open up a present. I am just as delighted as they are opening their gifts because I did not buy it. I paid for it, but it is the job of the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage to do all of the shopping, gift buying, wrapping, and everything that goes with it.
As I say, I am not looking for much for Christmas this year, just to enjoy the family and celebration.
Then something happened this past week that changed that attitude of mine.
In the mailbox this week, I received a letter from the state traffic department. I was a little nervous opening it because I’ve never received such a letter before. Why were they sending me a letter? What kind of trouble am I in?
When I opened it, I noticed it was a traffic violation notice. Upon further notice, I saw it was not for me. Can you guess who this traffic violation was for? Two guesses, and it’s not me.
I’m not too much into dancing, but I must admit, I did a little happy dance as I read this letter.
Accordingly, my wife had a traffic violation, and a camera recorded it.
Walking into the house, I was cheerfully whistling and maybe some dancing.
“What are you so happy about?”
Looking at my wife, I said, "I’m sorry. What did you say?" I heard her, but I wanted to hear her repeat it.
“You heard me. What are you so happy about?”
Handing her the letter, I said with the biggest grin on my face I’ve ever had, “You have a traffic violation ticket.”
“This cannot be my ticket,” she said with a very disgusting growl.
“I think it is. It has your name and your license plate number on it. Who else’s is it?”
She went outside to her van and checked the license plate number. It was not the right number.
“It is not the right license plate number, so it cannot be mine.”
At this point, my happiness peaked. I was not expecting something like this. I was expecting a traffic violation. The total was $2.35. It did not seem like much, but there it was. I would be able to enjoy this moment for the rest of my life. Oh, how sweet life can be, especially at Christmas.
She handed the letter back to me and said, “Look, this violation was last week in Miami. I was not in Miami last week. This cannot be right.”
My happiness was on a downward spiral. I looked the letter over several times only to discover she was right. She is always right, and here was new proof. I advised her to take it over to the sheriff department and see what they think.
It was not long before she came back and into the house happily whistling but no dancing.
“What are you so happy about?”
She looked at me with a smile and a Merry Christmas twinkle in her eye and said, “The sheriff department told me this was a fraud. It is not my ticket. They advised me to destroy it and forget about it.”
Looking at me smiling, she said, “Aren’t you happy for me?”
All I could do was look back, smile, and say, “Yes, dear.”
Of all the tickets I have received, I could enjoy one for my wife.
It was not a very serious issue, but I could have gotten a lot of mileage from this. Now it is gone. Just when you think you got something, it turns out to be nothing.
I am glad that the ticket was a fraud. I was thinking of what the apostle Paul said. “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (Philippians 4:6).
It is that time of the year when we think about all the things to be thankful. I am not sure how many blessings I have because some of the more important ones are ones I do not see. If I rest in God, he will take care of all the blessings I need in life.
Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, PO Box 831313, Ocala, FL 34483. He lives with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 1-866-552-2543 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. His web site is www.jamessnyderministries.com.