15 May 2010
If awards were given to people who have the best of intentions, I would be working on my acceptance speech right now. However, I know that intentions are only as good as the one who crafts the intention.
Recently, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage needed to go and visit her parents. This necessitated her being away for five days. In her absence, I was in charge. As they say, I was the chief cook and bottle washer. Unfortunately, I did not know the proper way of cooking a chief or if it was legal, and there were no bottles around for me to wash. In her absence, I would have to do a lot of improvising but I did not think I needed to bother her with such trivial information while she was packing.
Finally, she was off and I, as they say, was on.
The first thing I did was evaluate my situation and formulate a game plan. After all, I was in charge. I wanted to make sure I got the most out of every hour. I hate waste, and I hate wasting time. I fully intended to use the time at my disposal for my greatest pleasure.
After several moments of this, I was exhausted, got a soda from the refrigerator, went to the back porch and reclined on my lounge chair. I would unwind and think through the things I wanted to do in her absence.
I was finding out that this being in charge is rather hard work. Therefore, a nap was in order. I smiled as I leaned back and allowed my body to relax. It felt wonderful. A nap before lunchtime was something unheard of when You Know Who was in charge. Now that I am in charge, a nap is whenever I want to take it. This being in charge has real advantage.
I made it through the first day. Looking back, I am not quite sure how I did it.
Late in the afternoon, I had come up with an excellent plan for my evening arrangements. I plan to party the evening away until the wee hours of the morning. No curfew tonight. I would let down my hair, what hair I had, and throw caution to the wind. Look out wind. Tonight would be the beginning of my free-for-all. The refrigerator was well stocked with goodies, and I had a plan. I love it when a plan comes together.
My intentions were to stay up until the wee hours of the morning. Along about 11 o'clock my eyes became so heavy I could hardly keep them open. I grabbed a soda and another apple fritter and went to bed. I would do something not permitted under normal circumstances; I would have a snack in bed while watching television.
I do not know what happened. Maybe it was all the apple fritters I had, but the next thing I knew the sun was coming through the window and it was morning. Whatever happened to my all night party?
There on my nightstand was a half-empty can of soda and a partially eaten apple fritter. I then smelled something I have never smelled before. I sniffed, but I could not identify the strange odor. I sniffed again, but no better luck. No matter how much I sniffed, it was always the same.
Every morning when I get up I smell freshly brewed coffee floating in from the kitchen area. Now, for some strange reason, I smelled no such smell. The morning air was bankrupt of any delicious aroma that I could identify.
I walked into the kitchen and there was the coffee pot where it was supposed to be, but to my chagrin, no coffee was brewing. I cannot understand that because every morning I wake up to the smell of fresh brewed coffee. There is no better way to get up in the morning than that. The best way to start every morning is with a nice hot cup of coffee.
For as long as I can remember, I have always enjoyed the morning fragrance of freshly brewed coffee. Why should today be any different?
It then dawned upon me. I did not fix the coffee pot the night before, like my wife always does. That was just the beginning. Where were my eggs over easy, bacon, fresh biscuits and gravy? I always have that for breakfast. I looked in the refrigerator and saw them in their natural habitat, which was raw.
I sighed deeply and said to myself, "Where in the world is my breakfast?" And myself replied, "Silly, you have to make it yourself."
Well, I had a real good talking to myself. Then, I do not know how it happened, but I heard my wife talking. Out of my mouth came her words that I have heard a thousand times before, "Breakfast does not make itself." In that brief moment, I had become my wife, which was not my intention.
The only area where personal work does not count is in salvation. The apostle Paul writes, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV).
God does not intend for us to save ourselves. His full attention is our complete salvation, and God is always as good as His Word.
The Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife, Martha, in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 352-687-4240 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The church web site is www.whatafellowship.com.
Rev. James L. Snyder