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OUT TO PASTOR: Who’s really in charge?

Living in the country, our family did not have a television in our home. Somehow we managed to entertain ourselves without TV, and of course, we did not have the Internet then.

So, how we got along without Facebook and cell phones is more than I can remember.

Then in 1963, something happened that changed the world.

President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

When that happened, my father decided he needed a TV to keep up with the news concerning this event.

With that TV came something called a TV remote control.

My father set up the TV and showed us the TV remote control in his hand and how it worked.

“This remote control,” my father explained, “is to control the TV.”

Then he looked around at us as we sat there and said, “Because I am the man of this home, I have control of this TV remote control. So this is my responsibility.”

Looking at me, the oldest of the children, he said, “As a man, you are to be in charge of this TV remote control.” When he said that, he looked at all the kids, then looked at my mother, and smiled.

Since my wife and I have been married, I have tried to communicate this to The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage: I am the man of the house, and responsible for the TV remote control.

There are many things in our home I have no control over. I’m not allowed in the kitchen area for a variety of reasons. I tried when first married and have been barred from going there ever since. I even tried to wash the dishes once, which was a kitchen flood disaster.

So, my responsibility is the TV remote control.

That went well for an extended period, but recently the remote control batteries have been running out too quickly.

One night I told my wife that the batteries were dead and asked if we had any new batteries for the remote control.

She said, “Oh, I thought YOU were in charge of the TV remote control?”

She then brought me fresh batteries for the remote control with a very suspicious snicker on her face. I looked at her suspiciously, inserted the new batteries into the remote control, and it worked just fine.

The next day when I tried to turn on the TV, the remote control again did not work. I checked it – and found the batteries were dead.

I asked my wife, “Didn’t I put new batteries in the remote control yesterday?”

My wife looked at me and nodded her head. “Do you need new batteries again?”

She got two new batteries, brought them to me, I gave her the old ones and put in the new ones, which were working very nicely.

The remote control worked fine for the next few days, and I forgot about running out of battery power.

Then three days later – the batteries were dead again.

I had to stop and think a little about what was happening. Batteries don’t work like this, at least from my experience.

When my wife walked into the room, she looked at me and said, “Is your remote control working okay today?”

The way she said it caused me to think a little about what was happening.

Then she handed me two new batteries, took the old ones and walked away with a smile.

Thinking about this, I came up with a plan to figure out if she was playing me or not.

I put a little X on the old batteries, and a little 0 on the new ones. I have been wrong so many times, but the thing that danced in my head was, what if I’m right about this?

The batteries worked for two days, and then on the third day, once again, they were dead.

Before I could say anything, The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage brought me two new batteries for the remote and said, “You probably need new batteries today, don’t you?”

I put the new batteries in, and the remote was working as usual. So before I went to bed, I checked the marks on the batteries, and it was a 0.

When I got up in the morning, I checked the batteries – and discovered both batteries had an X on them. So now I was beginning to see what was happening, she was switching them out at her discretion.

While I was trying to process this whole thing I was reminded of one of my favorite of Bible verses.

Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

When I think I know everything is going on around me, that’s when I get into deep trouble. I try to start out every day with the idea that I don’t know everything. The only person I can really trust for everything is the Lord.

Dr. James L. Snyder lives in Ocala, FL with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. Telephone (352) 216-3025, e-mail, website

Ellis County Press

208 S Central St. 
Ferris, TX 75125