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OUT TO PASTOR: The world needs more grandfathers

Honesty will make me say that I do not know as much as I really ought to know. So much I do not know that I am not quite sure how much that is. I really won’t ever come to that conclusion.

Although I do not know everything, I have figured out a few things. We live in a very complicated world, and it just seems to get more complicated every day. I long for those days when a cell phone was what a prisoner used to call somebody.

As people, mostly men, get older, they get a little grumpy. I did not know I was getting grumpy until the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage said, “Why are you so grumpy today?”

With a face like mine, it is tough to hide any grumpiness.

Because I know she is always right, I began to think about the idea that maybe I am getting grumpy. Thinking along that line, I wanted to know what good could come from being grumpy.

I begin to think about myself, and what in the world has made me so grumpy? And, more importantly, how in the world can I overcome this infectious disease called grumpy-itis?

The more I thought about it, the grumpier I became. Believe me, I do not want to be grumpy around my wife. I need to work out a solution before I get any grumpier.

Nothing seemed to help me understand this until one day the grandchildren came over for the day. It was then I began to understand one solution to get over this grumpy-itis disease.

When the grandchildren are around, especially the younger ones, there is no time to be grumpy. Their infectious laugh cures just about any kind of grumpiness I might ever have.

If I had time to think about it, which I do not with the grandchildren around, I would wonder why and how these kids can laugh so much. Everything and anything is a target for their laughter. And my laughter.

Try not to laugh when your grandchildren are around laughing and creating a wonderful sense of chaos. It is impossible.

After the grandchildren left, my wife and I sat down in the living room and said to each other, “Boy, was that fun.” Then we fell asleep with smiles on our faces.

It was then I found the remedy for my grumpy-itis. As a grandfather, I need grandchildren in my life to make sure my life is not grumpy. Even days after they leave I’m still smiling and even laughing.

Every once in awhile, my wife will say, “Do remember…” Then she goes on about something that happened when the grandchildren were here.

Once I quieted down a little from all the grandchildren's activity, a thought took hold of my mind, which even brought another smile.

I knew I needed those grandchildren as therapy from my grumpy-itis, but there was something even better than that. Those grandchildren needed me.

In a million years, I never would have thought about that myself. Those grandchildren have so much going for them today that I never thought they would need somebody like me.

When the grandchildren are under my “supervision,” they have a freedom that they do not have anywhere else. As a grandfather, I have a hard time pronouncing the word NO. It did not take those grandchildren long to figure that out.

Every once in a while, I’ll hear, “Let’s ask Granddad.” Then I know they are asking me for something that maybe nobody else would approve. After all, grandfathers are just like that.

In such a world that we live in, our grandchildren need to understand that there’s something in this world that they can really enjoy. That’s my job as a grandfather. To give them reasons to laugh and enjoy themselves.

Grandchildren need someone in their life not stressed with schedules and finances and all of that stuff. They need to see someone in their life that is happy and glad to see them.

Don’t let this get out, but they need to see someone in their life that has them as a priority. Nothing is more important in a grandfather’s life than his grandchildren. If he does his job well, they will come to understand that they are the most important people in his life.

I like this one Bible verse. “Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children” (Proverbs 17:6).

The key for grandchildren to be genuinely grand are grandfathers.

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 352-687-4240 or e-mail The church web site is www.

Ellis County Press

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