So, this re­ally is sum­mer­time, is it?

Record Observer - - Religion -

It was just an­other day and I was in­dulging a care­free mo­ment of com­plain­ing about the weather. “I can’t be­lieve it’s so hot to­day,” I mut­tered. I thought I was talk­ing to my­self but ob­vi­ously, I had an au­di­ence.

Have you ever said or did some­thing not re­al­iz­ing some­body was watch­ing you?

Ev­ery time I am in a res­tau­rant eat­ing, I en­deavor to re­mem­ber there is an au­di­ence and try my very best not to spill the soup on my lap. Al­though, I must ad­mit that that kind of lap dance al­ways gets a vig­or­ous round of ap­plause from the au­di­ence. Don’t ask me how I know.

I thought in my own spe­cial way of think­ing that I was alone only to find out the Gra­cious Mis­tress of the Par­son­age was within earshot of my re­marks. I must say she is rather re­mark­able. Those “earshot mo­ments” are quite ex­ten­sive. I will not go as far as to say that she can read my mind, al­though I think she can, but she seems to know what I am think­ing even be­fore I go through the ef­fort and la­bor of think­ing.

I do not know why I even spend the en­ergy think­ing on my own. Even when I do think up a thought of my own and go so far as to ex­press it I am al­ways chal­lenged. The chal­lenge is, do not think that way. The chal­lenger is my wife.

Life would be so much eas­ier, not to men­tion less stress­ful, if I just would quit think­ing my own thoughts. It is when I am think­ing my own thoughts that I get into trou­ble. Life would be so much eas­ier if I al­lowed some­one else to think my thoughts for me. Af­ter all, isn’t that why men get mar­ried? Why women get mar­ried still baf­fles me.

Get­ting back to my mo­ment of com­plain­ing. “I can’t be­lieve,” I mut­tered, “it’s so hot to­day.” To which, my wife said, “Don’t you know it’s sum­mer? And don’t you know that it’s sup­posed to be hot dur­ing the sum­mer?”

I did know that but it did not make the heat any more bear­able. Then she said some­thing that rather con­fused me. I have been con­fused be­fore. Con­fu­sion is a fa­mil­iar ter­ri­tory to me. But this con­fu­sion was dif­fer­ent.

“If,” my wife said rather sternly, “you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen.”

What the kitchen had to do with it be­ing hot out­side is way be­yond my pay scale. There was a brief mo­ment when I al­most threw cau­tion to the wind and asked my wife what she meant by that com­ment. Boy, am I glad I didn’t.

I make it a prac­tice to stay as far away from the kitchen as pos­si­ble, es­pe­cially when my wife is present. There is some­thing about a kitchen that makes me rather ner­vous to the point of drop­ping her fa­vorite cup and hav­ing it break all over the floor. I stay out of the kitchen, heat or no heat.

“If I re­mem­ber cor­rectly,” my wife said as she stared at me rather in­tently, “a few months ago you were com­plain­ing about how cold it was.” She was right. It was not but a few months ago, I was com­plain­ing that it was so cold out­side that I just could not bear it.

“You’re go­ing to have to make up your mind.” That was a se­ri­ous ad­mo­ni­tion from her. For her to tell me to make up my mind sends some very con­tra­dic­tory mes­sages to me. Af­ter all, she is for­ever mak­ing up my mind for me. She seems to know ex­actly what I want at the res­tau­rant and be­fore I can get a word in edge­wise or oth­er­wise, she has or­dered for me. I’m not com­plain­ing. She knows ex­actly what I want.

“Ei­ther,” she con­tin­ued, “it’s too hot or it’s too cold. Now make up your mind.”

I smiled de­murely in her direc­tion and nod­ded in the af­fir­ma­tive. Not want­ing to fur­ther the con­ver­sa­tion I whis­pered very gen­tly, “Yes, dear.” It con­cluded our tête-à-tête.

Later on in the evening, we were watch­ing tele­vi­sion. It was the lo­cal news and spe­cial re­port of the day had to do with the record heat wave across our coun­try. “It’s been a long time,” the weath­er­man said, “since we’ve seen tem­per­a­tures this high. Boy, is it hot out there.”

I glanced in her direc­tion as covertly as pos­si­ble and no­ticed she was star­ing at me, just dar­ing me to say some­thing.

There is a time to say some­thing and then some­times some­thing should not be said at all. I con­cealed my in­fec­tious grin as much as pos­si­ble know­ing that some­one was watch­ing me. Un­der my breath I whis­pered, “I can’t be­lieve it’s so hot to­day.” Af­ter all, it is sum­mer and it is sup­posed to be hot. I just be­lieve that ev­ery­body has the right to com­plain about the weather. I also be­lieve that some peo­ple have the right not to hear me com­plain about the weather.

It is a well-noted mark of wis­dom to know when to speak and when not to speak.

Solomon in the Old Tes­ta­ment had it right when he said, “Even a fool, when he hold­eth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shut­teth his lips is es­teemed a man of un­der­stand­ing” (Proverbs 17:28 KJV).

So, this is sum­mer, but you did not hear it from me.

Rev. James L. Sny­der is pastor of the Fam­ily of God Fel­low­ship Ocala, FL 34483 where he lives with the Gra­cious Mis­tress of the Par­son­age. Call him at 1-866-5522543 or email jamess­ny­ His web­site is www.jamess­ny­der­min­

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