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OUT TO PASTOR: I was just thinking, or was I really thinking?

Thinking has not really been my strong suit. Not that I don’t do some kind of thinking, but my thinking never gets me ahead of anything or anyone.

When it comes to thinking, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage is way ahead of me. She’s always thinking about 17 days ahead of me. And I must confess that her thinking many times gets me into trouble. How that works, I have no idea. That’s something that I have to really think through some day.

As a child I remember, my mother and father were once having a little bit of a spat. When I was alone with my father, he said, “Son, remember, thinking will always get you into trouble.”

I don’t know what kind of trouble he was in, but he seemed at the moment to really mean what he was saying.

Many people give a lot of credit to what they’re thinking. I suppose there is a place for real serious critical thinking, but it has never arisen in any of my situations that I can think of right now.

I used to, but no longer think it’s the right thing, ask my wife what she was thinking after a situation. How did I know she would tell me exactly what she was thinking? How anyone can think so much about one thing is beyond my imagination.

On several occasions, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage has come into the living room where I was seated, saw me grinning, and asked, “What are you thinking about?”

I had to think a little bit about that because I did not realize I was thinking. So I responded by saying, “Oh, I was just thinking about a joke.” And then I laughed, hoping to diverge her attention away from me.

“Were you? And what was that joke?” Then she gave me her infamous stare.

That is where I had to step on the thinking gas pedal and say, “Why was 6 afraid of 7?” Then I tossed her a quick smile.

“And why was 6 afraid of 7?” She asked with a smirk.

Thinking a little bit, I responded by saying, “Because 7, 8, 9.”

With both hands on her hips, she stared at me for a moment and said very sarcastically, “Can’t you think of another joke?”

I did not know “thinking” and “jokes” were connected.

One day this past week, we had to go across town for an errand. As we were traveling, I said, “You know, I was thinking...”

As soon as I said that, she started laughing almost hysterically. I looked at her and said, “What are you laughing about?”

“You were thinking? When did you start thinking?” Then she laughed some more.

If only I could have thought up a response to that jab, I would’ve been happy, but my cognitive activity was on pause.

Recently my wife and I were in conversation, and she was asking about some projects that she had in mind to do. Believe me; she’s always working on some crafty project. I can’t keep up with all of her projects.

Then she looked at me and said, “What project do you think I should do?”

For her to ask me to think was something out of my thinking zone. When it comes to craft projects, I just am beyond imagination. I couldn’t work on a project like that if my life depended on it.

Being a husband as long as I have been, I understand she’s not asking a question for my opinion. She is simply thinking out loud. I know whichever one I picked, she will pick the opposite.

“Well,” I said as soberly as possible, “giving this a lot of thought, I suggest you do project number two.”

“I was thinking,” she said as though she had not heard anything I had suggested, “that I would do project number four.” And then she said something else, “What do you think of that choice?”

I didn’t have to think of that choice because she had already thought through that choice, and no further thought was necessary.

It’s amazing to me how cognitive my wife can be when dealing with her crafts. I’m jealous of that ability. But, of course, I know if I had that kind of cognitive ability, it would only get me so deep in trouble that I couldn’t get out.

Doing some more thinking on my own, I thought of a special verse of Scripture. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end” (Jeremiah 29:11).

It’s not my thinking that matters so much. Rather, it is what God is thinking about me that encourages me. God’s thinking about me is based upon his infinite wisdom and his love for me.

Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, Ocala, FL 34472, where he lives with his wife. Call him at 352-216-3025 or e-mail The church web site is

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