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OUT TO PASTOR: Time alone is time invested

During the past week, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and yours truly have been spending quite a bit of time together. I cannot recall any time that we have spent this much time together.

The exception would be when we first got married. Even then, both of us worked during the day and were going to a Bible Institute at night. Occasionally our schedule collided, but rarely. Because we both had energy, we did not realize how much we were doing. Every day had its own blessing.

It was not long before the babies came knocking on our door, and we graciously invited them in. From then on, time alone was a thing of the past. It is amazing to me how much time a baby can take from you. But it was time well invested, I assure you.

As a 21-year-old father, I thought I had lots of energy. It was not until the babies started coming that I realized my energy was long ago spent. Why does God give babies so much energy? I think He does it on purpose.

Life can sometimes get so busy we forget the important things. My wife and I were thinking about that this past week. If I live until August, my wife and I will celebrate our 49th wedding anniversary. How quickly time flies! My only problem is, will I have enough energy to celebrate it then?

By the time I get adjusted to Monday, it is already Friday. I always come up three days short and every week. I think when you get older, you should have a new time schedule that complements your energy, or lack thereof.

My wife and I make a great team. She is a great planner, and I am a great listener; although, I do not always hear what I am listening to. But in the end, we work very nicely together.

Since nothing is going on, we had an excellent opportunity to spend time together talking about things not involving work. That is quite a rarity.

We were talking about things that happened years ago, things I had forgotten.

“Do you,” my wife said, “remember…”

Then she tells a story about something that happened decades ago. To be honest, I did not remember several of the stories she was talking about. I smiled and shook my head because she is probably right, and I probably have forgotten something.

If my wife remembers something, it must be true. At least, that is how I live my life. To contradict her story with my memory is a very losing proposition.

When I tell a story, she is always correcting me because I always get it wrong. Her corrections never come within the scope of my recollections. But that is the fun of working together.

This staying at home really does have some good benefits to it. I did not really figure it out until just the other day when we were having lunch together.

Many times our schedule is so busy that we have to grab a bite here and a bite there. Now that we are at home all day, there are some benefits.

I won’t say that the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage is the best cook in town, she is, but I’m not going to say it. Saying something can get you into trouble, and trouble is the thing I try to stay away from. Some try to stay away from viruses, but I try to stay away from trouble.

I was doing some reading leading up to lunchtime, not thinking about lunch at all. Then the table was set and lunch was prepared. I had forgotten what a marvelous cook she was.

Do not let this get around, but the only thing I do not like about her cooking are the vegetables that she always cooks. I am not a fan of vegetables. There are some I can take with a grain of salt and some with a teaspoon of salt, but for the most part, I do not like vegetables.

Then there it was on my plate several homemade meatballs surrounded by a pile of homemade Mac & Cheese. The meatballs were exactly the way I like them, and what can I say about the Mac & Cheese?

Everything smelled so delicious and looked so wonderful, I almost forgot to pray for the meal.

When I finished my third serving, I leaned back in my chair and just smiled.

“You know, my dear,” I said with the biggest smile I have ever had, “we should eat at home more often. You simply outdid yourself today.”

I still do not like vegetables! However, vegetables may be the price of our good relationship.

I thought about what the apostle Paul said once, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).

The value of any relationship is determined by the amount I am willing to invest in it.

Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 352-216-3025 or e-mail The church web site is www.

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