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OUT TO PASTOR: To grin or not to grin, is my dilemma

Through the years, I have experienced one dilemma after another.

I remember my father once told me, “Son, when life delivers you a dilemma, make lemonade out of it.” To which I looked at him with a big grin and said, “Is there any dilemma I can make a root beer out of it?”

On my wedding day, I grinned all day long and nobody ever had to ask me the question, “What are you grinning about?” Everybody knew.

I never had any problem with grinning and nobody ever challenged me about my grinning. I guess it is just my nature to grin about everything.

After my wedding, however, everything changed. Most of it for the good I must confess. I have no regrets or anything of that nature. While I am saying this, you can imagine I am grinning. Nothing has made me happier in life than marrying the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage.

My wife and I were sitting in the living room having a cup of coffee and talking. As we were talking unbeknownst to me, I was grinning. It is something that happens automatically to me.

“What are you,” my wife said in a very somber tone, “grinning about?”

I thought I was in trouble at first. I did not understand what she was talking about my grinning. I simply looked at her and stated, “Huh.”

“You’re grinning!”

“Oh,” I said, “I was just thinking about the first time we met.” Then I laughed heartily.

“What was so funny about that?”

That was the beginning of trying to explain why I grinned all the time. I explained to her how that day was the real beginning of my life. Then, she grinned. That began a wonderful conversation of those beginning days of our life.

So often, something happens and I find myself grinning.

I well remember the time my wife was walking around the house everywhere. I stopped her and said, “What are you doing?”

“I’m looking for my glasses.”

I thought I was being set up so I grinned very cheerfully.

“What are you grinning about?”

The way she said it made me take the situation rather seriously. I did not know what kind of trouble I was in for or if she was setting me up for something.

“Have you,” she snapped, “seen my glasses?”

I did not know what to say because I could see her glasses on the top of her head where she often puts them.

Then she discovered where her glasses were and just looked at me. I was still grinning.

Recently, she had some problems with her back and I called the ambulance to take her to the local ER. I took my two daughters with me because both were medically trained, one a registered nurse the other an EMT.

My wife was in awful pain and we could barely move her. The local ambulance crew took her to the ER and the doctors begin to work on her.

One of the medications they used was some form of morphine. I let my daughters oversee that because that was completely above my pay scale.

Soon the medications were working and her pain was beginning to rescind. We all were relieved.

On the wall was a very nice picture of a landscape with trees and bushes and so forth. I noticed my wife looking at that picture and then she said, “Isn’t a very nice picture of a pickle?”

She then looked at me and said, “What are you grinning about?”

One of my daughters said, “I guess the medication is starting to kick in.”

It took us a day or two to explain that it was not a picture of a pickle, but rather a picture of grass and trees.

I have been enjoying my grinning ever since. Occasionally my wife will look at me and say, “You’re not still grinning about the pickle are you?”

“Why no,” I say, trying to hide a grin, “have you found your glasses yet?”

Trust me when I say, she did not grin back at me.

Thinking about this I was reminded of one of David’s Psalms. “Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The Lord hath done great things for them” (Psalm 126:2).

My philosophy has been, find something every day to grin about and you will have a happy life along with fresh lemonade.

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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