17 Jul 2010
The older I get, and I plan to get as old as I can, I am amazed at how monotonous things really are. When I was young, everything seemed to be so new and exciting and I looked forward to the next new adventure.
Now that I have a few years under my belt, along with a couple thousand lunches and suppers, I am in a position to have a better perspective of life. And I have noticed that all the important things repeat themselves over and over again.
I bought a brand new suit a couple of weeks ago. I could not wait to wear my new suit to church with everybody saying, "Is that a new suit?" And I will reply, "Yes, this is my new suit. How do you like it?" Therefore, the conversation that Sunday revolved around my brand-new suit. I must confess it is better than when the conversation revolves around a black eye. No matter how many times I explain my black eye, people do not believe I ran into my doorknob.
But a new suit is a different thing. I enjoyed everybody talking about my new suit and I could hardly wait until the next Sunday came around to continue the conversation.
When I got to church on Sunday, I was in for somewhat of a shock. Instead of everybody delighting in my brand-new suit as they did the Sunday before, someone said, "Isn't that the same suit you wore last week?"
I can't tell you how disappointed I was. Everywhere I went that Sunday people said, "Isn't that..." and before they could finish I chirped in and said, "Yes, yes it's the same suit I wore last Sunday." And I said it in such a way that people began to think I was irritated by their query.
I learned a valuable lesson that Sunday. You can only wear a brand-new suit one time and then after that it is an old suit. It does not take long for something to become old but something new has only one shot at it.
I must confess that I was a little down about this whole matter. I liked my "brand-new" suit; I do not care what anybody says.
Even the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage got in on the razzmatazz. Sunday morning as we were getting dressed to go to church, she looked at me and said, "Are you going to wear your brand-new suit today?" she said with a sarcastic tone all too familiar to me.
I had some crazy ideas about my necktie at the time but, being the gentleman that I am, I simply tied it around my neck.
Just as I was lamenting my suit getting older I remembered, it was my birthday... again. When will this ever stop? Last year I had a birthday. The year before that, I had a birthday. And I could go on and on all the way back to the day I was born. Every year on the very same day, I have birthday. This is getting to be rather monotonous. I think there should come a time when a grown man should forget about having a birthday.
It is the same every year. On my birthday, everybody calls to wish me happy birthday. How do you have a happy birthday at my age? More to the point, at my age how do I know I am happy?
Here is one thing that bothers me about my birthday. When I was brand-new, I am sure people make all kind of remarks about how cute and cuddly I looked. I am sure wherever my parents went everybody commented, "Is that your new baby?"
I am quite certain this took place although... and this is what really provokes me... I do not remember that day. The most important birthday of my life and I cannot remember anything about it. Oh sure, my parents took pictures, but that is not the same.
I remember waking up on my birthday this year (these days I am glad if I remember anything) and sighed very deeply before I got out of bed. Not only was this another day, but it was another birthday. At my age, I have done so many things for my birthday I cannot think of another thing I want to do for my birthday except... nothing. A day of doing nothing would be the perfect birthday day for me.
As I made my wishes known to the one who has known me more birthdays than anybody else, she said, "But don't you remember? That's what you did for your birthday last year."
So, I face a rather delicate dilemma. I am at the stage of life where I have just about done everything I wanted and so there is nothing new I can do for my birthday. Maybe it was better when I could not remember my birthday.
And so, after sighing very deeply several times I have come to an important decision in my life. Monotony is not as bad as people say it is. I plan for my birthday to do a thing that I have done repeatedly in the past, and that is nothing, but I will do it in my "brand-new" suit.
"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Rev. James L. Snyder