23 May 2008
I had just finished a major project and was moping around the house trying to unwind when the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage saw me. I was trying to be as inconspicuous as possible, but that does not happen in our house.
I turned around and there she was looking at me with one of those looks. I knew she was thinking and I knew those thoughts were directed in my direction and furthermore, I knew I would hear about it shortly.
"What you need," she said thoughtfully, "is a hobby."
"You need a hobby. You know, like coin collecting or stamp collecting or something of that nature. You need something to occupy your time."
At the moment, I thought I was occupying "my time" very nicely, thank you. But I knew she had my best interest in mind. Or a least, something for me to do to get me out of the house and out of her way.
After giving it some serious thought, I decided that I would take up stamp collecting as my hobby. I really did not know where to start so I thought I would go to the post office and buy some stamps. Much to my chagrin, a postage stamp cost $.42 these days. I did not think my stamp-collecting hobby would involve so much cash. I had enough money on my person to buy three postage stamps, totaling $1.26. With this kind of major investment, this hobby better be good.
I brought the stamps home, laid them on the table and went to do something. When I came back, one stamp was missing. I searched everywhere but the missing stamp did not reappear.
"What are you looking for?" my wife queried.
"I had three stamps here on the table and now one is missing."
"Oh, I took it; I had to mail a letter."
I do not think stamp collecting is going to be a very good hobby for me. The next on my list was coin collecting. This had to be a little more exciting than collecting stamps. With a great deal of persistence and self-discipline, I managed to collect three quarters. I had them in my pocket when I was running an errand and without thinking, I used my entire coin collection to buy a can of soda. I do not think coin collecting hobby is going to work out for me.
"Why don't you try bird watching," my wife suggested.
An excellent idea. There were plenty of birds in our backyard and so I began immediately practicing my bird watching hobby. As luck would have it, there were two bluebirds perched in a tree in our backyard. I positioned myself as secretively as possible in order to get a good view of these two birds. Then I began practicing my new hobby. Not knowing what was involved in the bird watching hobby, I commenced to watch these birds. I stared at them and stared at them and stared at them.
I am not sure if it was the sun or what, but I had the feeling they were staring back at me. Not only that, I had this eerie feeling that they were laughing at me. I hate it when birds laugh at me, primarily because I do not get the joke.
I was running out of options when I had a brainstorm. Usually when I have a brainstorm, I end up getting all wet. This one promised lots of sunshine.
I stumbled upon the perfect hobby for me. My hobby is writing poetry. What could be more perfect? I immediately set out to begin practicing my new hobby. Who knows, I may become a famous bard.
Within a few moments, I had my first poetry masterpiece.
"I share a house with my wife,
which sometimes creates strife.
When I ask what's the matter,
I receive such a chatter,
I despair even of life."
Thinking my Better Half would be ecstatic about my new found hobby, I shared the fruits of my pen with her. It did not take long for me to realize, from her reaction, but this was not the hobby for me.
Placing both hands on her hips, she looked at me and said, "You're no poet,
and don't I know it."
I was in utter despair until I made a marvelous discovery.
It was in the afternoon and I was in my chair practicing my new hobby, when my wife came in and saw me.
"What in the world are you doing?" She said. "Don't you have anything to do?"
"I'm practicing my new hobby," I explained.
"Yes," I said with a tone of authority, "my new hobby is meditation. Every afternoon from two to three I spend time practicing this new hobby of meditation."
She looked at me and then walked away shaking her head.
I had just gotten into my hobby when the whole world began shaking violently. I opened my eyes and there was my wife shaking me.
"Are you snoring?"
"Snoring?" I asked rubbing my sleepy eyes. "I'm not snoring I'm chanting. When you meditate, you have to chant.”
The Bible says, "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:" (Ecclesiastes 3:1 KJV).
Everybody has time on their hands. We either waste it, or invest it in eternal purposes.
Rev. James L. Snyder