21 Mar 2008
If it were not for certain rituals in life, life would be a rather drab business. I know some celebrate a ritual because they have celebrated it before and are just going through the motions.
Just because someone does not take his or her ritual seriously does not mean I cannot. I will admit some rituals are more important than others are, but I am not here to judge others.
Some rituals have changed my life. I have one ritual that has become a sacred moment in my week. Something I look forward to and anticipate with a great deal of joy.
My weekly ritual does not embarrass me – but for a long time it was a secret I shared only with myself. I think there are some things that you should keep between yourself. This was one of them.
For a long time I kept this secret ritual from the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. Even in a good marriage, there are certain things that you should not share.
I want everyone to know I had her best interest in mind. That is just the kind of man I am.
I did not want to burden her with something that affected only me. A real man needs to bear his own burden and not burden his wife with needless burdens.
This cat is now officially out of the bag, so to speak, so I guess I can reveal my ritual.
Every Sunday morning I go to church early and on my way, I stop at Publix and get a freshly baked donut. I like them when they first come out of the oven.
Of course, I know donuts are not on my diet. After all, my wife has said to me a million times, and I have counted them all and duly noted each one, that donuts were not on my diet.
This wonderful ritual I religiously observed for a long time before the inevitable happened. One careless comment can change a person’s entire life.
It was on a Monday and I accompanied my wife to Publix to help her with a little shopping, which only shows that helping your wife can be dangerous to your sacred rituals. Everything was going fine until we went by the bakery department.
“Hello, Reverend Snyder,” a cheerful voice sounded behind the bakery counter. “How was your donut yesterday?”
then she smiled at me, not knowing what damage she had caused to my life. I smiled back sweetly, knowing full well the damage done to Yours Truly.
This opened up a brand new world of discussion. Actually, I should not say discussion but rather a monologue.
On the entire trip home the monologue centered on the disadvantage of eating a donut every Sunday morning. Believe me, I did not know eating a donut was so dangerous, not particularly to my health, but to my eardrums. The drum roll continued the entire evening.
Then she asked me the famous question, “What possessed you to eat a donut every Sunday morning?”
All I could think of was, it must have been the devil because it tasted pretty darn delicious. Fortunately, I did not wrap this thought around audible words. I just mumbled, “I dunno.”
I did not think a person needed to be possessed to enjoy a donut. In my opinion, a donut by any other name is still delicious, especially on the way to church on Sunday morning.
I am not alone in my appreciation of the marvelous world of donut.
For anyone who has any German blood in them, this past week we celebrated Fasnaught Day. If I have to explain what it is then, of course, you have no idea what you have been missing.
Fasnaught Day, for those in the know, is simply Donut Day. There are holidays and then there are “holi-lujah” days. Fasnaught falls under the latter.
What could be more delightful than celebrating a whole day of eating donuts? Some might ask where this holiday came from and I respond by saying, “Who cares. Let’s just get to the donuts.”
If it tastes so good, it cannot have calories in it. Right?
Since donuts were on my mind, I began to think of how they really relate to life. Life is like a jelly-filled donut, you can be sure. The outside maybe baked hard and a little crumbly but on the inside is a delicious jelly filling. Personally, I like strawberry.
Actually, I only buy jelly-filled donuts because of the jelly inside. I put up with the outer shell of the donut only to get to the inside fruity treat.
Life is like this. It can be hard and a little messy. For example, it is not possible to eat a jelly-filled donut and not get the evidence all over your face and clothing.
And life is like that. It is not possible to live without getting the evidence of life all over your face and clothing. It can be messy at times.
If a person gives too much attention to the outside, he or she will miss the beauty of the inside. I especially like how the bible puts it. “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” (1 John 4:4 KJV.)
It is what is inside that truly compensates for the outside.
Rev. James L. Snyder