Get ready, get set, now go for sum­mer

Record Observer - - Religion -

As far as I’m con­cerned, sum­mer is the best time of the year. I look for­ward to it while with­stand­ing the chilly shiv­ers of win­ter­time and the er­ratic damp weather of spring. Sum­mer is my time of year!

I guess the rea­son it takes so long for sum­mer to get here is that it takes an aw­ful long time to get ready for this won­der­ful thing called sum­mer time.

Why is it we work so hard dur­ing the win­ter­time and then when sum­mer comes the plague of lazi­ness seems to spread abroad? Ac­tu­ally, I think I have earned that lazy spell so as­so­ci­ated with sum­mer.

This is where the Gra­cious Mis­tress of the Par­son­age and I cross swords.

For some rea­son she be­lieves sum­mer is the time to catch up on all the work around the house. There is yard work to be done. The garage needs to be cleaned out and re­or­ga­nized. That is only the start. Think­ing about all that stuff makes me tired.

I will not say she is a “worka­holic,” at least out loud. Her say­ing is, “Early to bed and early to rise gives you plenty of time to work.”

And boy, does she work. I am ex­hausted and wore out just think­ing about all the work she does. If any­body gets things done, she does. In fact, she gets some things done that don’t have to be done. At least from my cal­cu­la­tion.

My phi­los­o­phy along this line is, “The harder you work the quicker old age catches up with you.” If that is true, and I am hop­ing it is, old age will never catch me.

The dif­fer­ence be­tween my wife and I is sim­ple, I be­lieve sum­mer is the time to catch up on all the loaf­ing missed dur­ing the win­ter­time. It is im­por­tant, at least from my per­spec­tive, that we do not get be­hind on our loaf­ing. You can never en­gage in too much loaf­ing, from my ex­pe­ri­ence.

Yard work will al­ways be there. A dirty garage will al­ways be dirty no mat­ter how many times you clean it. Loaf­ing is a very dif­fer­ent thing. It is a very re­li­gious as­pect of life. By that I mean, loaf­ing is a way to re­spect your body. I have a lot of re­spect for my body.

As we be­gin the first stage of sum­mer, I want to get ready to ex­er­cise as much loaf­ing as I pos­si­bly can.

Loaf­ing has sev­eral stages to it.

The first stage is just do­ing noth­ing. I have grad­u­ated with high hon­ors at this stage. It took me a lot of hard work to get to this point of mas­ter­ing the art of do­ing noth­ing. And I must say I have mas­tered it quite well.

My wife will ask me on a lazy sum­mer af­ter­noon, “What in the world are you do­ing?”

My re­ply is sim­ple, “I’m do­ing noth­ing.”

Then she says rather sar­cas­ti­cally, “You’re do­ing a won­der­ful job.”

I thank her and go on do­ing noth­ing.

An­other stage of loaf­ing is do­ing things you en­joy do­ing.

My wife wants to con­vince me that do­ing yard work is some­thing we can en­joy do­ing to­gether. I cer­tainly do not en­joy work­ing hard, sweat­ing and get­ting tired. Those three things do not go very well with my idea of en­joy­ing my­self.

She en­joys work­ing, slav­ing away and sweat­ing. She gets up early, works so hard, and needs a shower be­fore break­fast while I am just get­ting my peep­ers to un­peep. As long as she has a smile and is en­joy­ing her­self, I will never in­ter­fere.

What I do ob­ject to is her as­sum­ing that what she en­joys do­ing is what I en­joy do­ing.

“Come on and help me in the yard,” she says so cheer­fully, “you will en­joy it. It’s a beau­ti­ful af­ter­noon.”

Ob­vi­ously, we have been mar­ried for so long and she still doesn’t know what I en­joy. One of the things I do not en­joy is work­ing out in the yard, sweat­ing and ap­proach­ing the cliffs of ex­haus­tion.

My idea of loaf­ing has noth­ing at all to do with “en­joy­ing work.”

Of course, if you in­clude in this cat­e­gory the idea of en­joy­ing loaf­ing for sheer loaf­ing sake, then you got my at­ten­tion. If I en­joy loaf­ing, I should be al­lowed to en­joy it as of­ten and as long as I can. That is what sum­mer is all about.

An­other stage in this area of loaf­ing is prac­tic­ing the art of hor­i­zon­tal ex­ten­sion. Here is an area where I ex­cel. Noth­ing is more en­joy­able than sit­ting on the back porch with my feet stretched out as far as pos­si­ble, my head and shoul­ders re­clined back and a glass of iced tea in my right hand. That is what loaf­ing is all about.

Be­tween my wife’s work­ing and my loaf­ing this sum­mer is go­ing to be a won­der­ful time. Both of us are do­ing what we en­joy do­ing and hope­fully, not get­ting in each other’s way. I make it a rule not to in­ter­fere with her work­ing and I am work­ing on get­ting her to make a rule not to in­ter­fere with my loaf­ing. We are half­way there.

I think David un­der­stood my po­si­tion ex­actly. “And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest” (Psalm 55:6).

I am poised, and ready to face the sum­mer with all the loaf­ing I can ex­pe­ri­ence.

The Rev. James L. Sny­der is pas­tor of the Family of God Fel­low­ship, in Sil­ver Springs Shores. Call him at 352-687-4240 or email jamess­ny­ The church web­site is www. whatafel­low­

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