Is confession really good for the soul?
I have a confession to make. My first confession, of course, is that I do not always make confessions. Not that I don’t have things to confess, but I am rather slow in owning up to what I am doing and confessing it.
For example. When the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage says, “Who forgot to put the milk back into the refrigerator?” I usually pretend I did not hear her and try avoiding any kind of confession.
After all, why should I confess to something that she knows as true already? I am not sure why she asked such questions; I only can think that she is trying to rub it in or something. I do confess that I do not confess as often as I should.
Not that I don’t believe in confessing. I talk about it all the time but when it comes to me, I can always come up with a reasonable explanation of what I did or did not do. My philosophy is simply this; if you can explain your action why confess doing it?
And so, I need to clear my soul and make a good confession.
My wife and I agree on one level. Both of us leaned towards being workaholics. She leans further than I do, I will confess. But I also suffer problems in the workaholic area.
This is one reason why I do not really appreciate holidays for what they really are. Taking a day off does not seem like a very good thing to do, from my perspective. I do not mind working 24/7.
Isn’t this the reason God gave us laptop computers? No matter where I go, I can take my work with me. Hallelujah, and pass me another job to do.
On our vacation, the wife spends all her time checking out the thrift stores in the area. Believe me, that is a job in itself. I, on the other side of the vacation, usually stay in the room making conversation with my computer. There is always another article to do, another sermon to write, another chapter in a book to complete.
Don’t get me wrong here. I’m not complaining, mind you. I love always having something to do. I love the fact that I am able to choose what I am going to be doing. I cannot imagine what it is like having somebody else telling me what to do. Oh yes, that’s would be what a husband is all about. Let me just confess my error right here.
Both my wife and I love the work we are doing and often do not even consider it to be work. We just love what we are doing and we love the fact they were able to do it. But my confession! It was the last holiday and as usual, I went to my office right after breakfast and began my daily work. For some reason the thought haunted me that this was a holiday and I was probably the only person in the world working.
I shook off that silly thought and got back to work.
I looked at my watch and it was 11 o’clock. One more hour and it would be lunchtime. One more hour! Immediately I thought of how much I could accomplish in that one hour and so I set my mind back into the work mode.
I looked at my watch again and it was 11:05 AM. Fifty-five more minutes and it would be lunchtime. Fifty-five more minutes! I am not quite sure what happened at the time but I began thinking some rather strange thoughts. Like, who would care if I quit for an early lunch?
It did not take me long to close up shop and head home for an early lunch. When I got there, my wife was rather surprised and told me that lunch was not quite ready yet.
I assured her that I was not in a hurry and went into the living room and sat in my favorite easy chair leaning back and took the snooze-position. For the life of me, I can understand what happened. It just felt so good just to set there and do nothing.
My wife called me to lunch, we had a very delicious lunch together and my plans were to get back to the office and into work mode.
As I got up to leave I happened to glance in the direction of the living room and saw a lonely easy chair longing for someone to set on her.
“Well,” I thought to myself, “just a few minutes of sitting won’t do anybody any harm.”
So I went and sat down in the chair. It felt so good. An hour went by. Then I convinced myself, “Why not just spend one more hour in this very comfortable chair.”
And so my confession. On the last holiday, I absolutely did nothing. I sat in my chair and before I knew it, it was suppertime.
For my confession. I must confess quite sincerely that it really and truly felt good to do nothing for a whole day.
John the beloved understood this when he wrote, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
The experience of God’s wonderful forgiveness is based upon my confession.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. The church website is www.whatafellowship.com.