By James Snyder
For the last several weeks, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and myself have been enjoying some quiet time in our parsonage. I cannot remember the last time we had such quiet time all to ourselves.
One of the blessings of this time is the fact that telemarketers are not calling. In a way, I miss them because I used to harass them as much as they were harassing me. But we will come back to that in a few weeks or months.
I did not know what a wonderful time it was until yesterday as my wife and I were enjoying our supper together. Usually, throughout the week, we spend quite a bit of time at a restaurant because of our schedule. It is not often that we can spend a whole week having our meals together.
Enjoying home-cooked meals is one of the great pleasures of being married to someone who knows how to cook. If the cooking were left up to me, it would be a completely different story. The truth is, it is not up to me and I say a grateful, hallelujah!
Some family members think I am a little bit post-thin; at least that’s what they say. I respond by saying I’m not as fat as I could be, but I’m not as skinny as I once was. I do not know what that means; I just want to say something to take the attention off me.
If I am “post-thin,” I am not to blame. The blame goes squarely on the shoulders of the master cook in our domicile. If the meals were not as good as they are, I would not eat as much as I do.
Therefore, my condition is not my own doing. Do not ask my wife; she has a different perspective on this situation.
Experiencing this solitude has brought many blessings.
One blessing is the gas at the local gas station is $1.65 per gallon. It has been a long time since the gas has been that low.
Even though it’s a blessing from a certain point of view, there is a negative aspect. Why is it that the gas is so cheap, but there is no place I can go? Why can it be that cheap when I have to take a trip somewhere?
So that blessing doesn’t really turn out to be a bona fide blessing, in my opinion.
I know there are some bargains at local stores that are open, like Publix, but I am not a shopper, and at this time, I would stay as far away from that place as possible. That may be a blessing, but there is a downside to it.
As I was enjoying the home cook supper the other night, I began to appreciate what a wonderful cook my wife is. For the last several days, she has cooked breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I have eaten her breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a great deal of delight.
Although I understand the consequences of eating as much as I have been eating, the blessing of eating it at the time far outweighs the future. At least that’s what I’m saying now.
After supper that night, which was absolutely delicious, I had a very frightening thought. I am not sure I am over it yet.
The thought was that whenever we go out to eat at a local restaurant, I’m always the one who tips the waitress. I always make sure I am generous with my tip. My philosophy is simply this, the thing that stands between the kitchen and me is that waitress, and I better be able to trust her.
Now, the thought tumbling through my mind is, am I supposed to tip my wife for supper tonight?
It is not that I am not generous. It is that I do not know how to manage this tipping business at home.
And the reason is, I made a slip of the tongue right after supper that night when I said to my wife, “This is a $1 million meal for sure.”
How in the world do you tip a $1 million meal?
As I was ruminating this through my mind, my wife sat down in the living room with me and said, “Did you really mean it was a $1 million meal?”
Throughout life, I have learned one basic fact. If I don’t say what I think I can’t get into trouble. Am I in trouble now?
If I would sell all my assets, I know I could not come anywhere near the tip due for a $1 million meal.
Not knowing what to do, I said with the most gracious smile I could paint on my face, “Yes, my dear. It certainly was a $1 million meal, in my opinion.”
“Well,” she said, “that complement is worth $1 million to me.”
I sighed a very deep sigh and realized I had actually tipped her more than I would tip the waitress at the restaurant. Life just can’t get any better than that.
As we exchanged smiles, I couldn’t help but think of something the apostle Paul said, “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful” (Colossians 3:15).
I believe it’s true that you cannot put a price tag on a thankful spirit.
Reverend James L. Snyder is an award winning author whose writings have appeared in more than eighty periodicals including GUIDEPOSTS. In Pursuit of God: The Life of A. W. Tozer, Snyder’s first book, won the Reader’s Choice Award in 1992 by Christianity Today. Snyder has authored 15 books altogether. Through more than thirty-five years of ministry, he and his wife Martha have been involved in three church-planting projects prior to their current ministry at the Family of God Fellowship in Ocala, Florida. The Snyders have three children and seven grandchildren.