Apart from that, I’m do­ing fine

Record Observer - - Religion -

I know I am not cor­rect on many things, just ask the Gra­cious Mis­tress of the Par­son­age. If I could be right as many times as I am wrong, I would be a ge­nius. The prob­lem is, I am more wrong than I am right, which puts me a lit­tle bit out of bal­ance.

Peo­ple al­ways say things they re­ally do not mean. I guess they are just try­ing to be nice and cour­te­ous.

For in­stance. My wife will say as I leave the door to go some­where, “Drive safely.”

I do not know what that means. Does she think I am go­ing to drive like an id­iot? Well, maybe that is not a good il­lus­tra­tion.

An­other one is, if you are go­ing to a party some­one will say, “Have fun.”

Does that mean they are un­der the im­pres­sion that you are not go­ing to have fun un­less you are en­ticed? Why do peo­ple al­ways say things like that?

We al­ways say things that we do not mean.

Of course, I am al­ways a lit­tle guarded about cer­tain things my wife may say to me. The most in­fa­mous one would be, “Does this dress make me look fat?” I am not sure who came up with that one, but their head was not spin­ning in the right di­rec­tion.

After think­ing about that for a lit­tle bit I am un­der the im­pres­sion that if any­one asks me that ques­tion, par­tic­u­larly if it is my wife, they are not look­ing for the right an­swer. They are look­ing for a com­pli­ment.

Is it more im­por­tant to tell the truth or to en­cour­age some­one? That has al­ways been my dilemma.

One ques­tion has bugged me for a long time. I must con­fess that I have done it my­self, but it still bugs me. It is when we meet some­body and say, “Hello, how are you do­ing?”

Why do we say some­thing like that? When­ever I asked some­body how they are do­ing, I re­ally do not want them to tell me how they are do­ing. I am try­ing to be cour­te­ous and friendly. I do not want to know the de­tails of their life.

As I said, I find my­self say­ing the very same thing. I am try­ing to get over this phrase-ad­dic­tion and prob­a­bly need sev­eral months in some re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion cen­ter. It would be worth it to get this out of my con­ver­sa­tion.

I do not know if I was just hav­ing a bad day or if I was just fed up with this ques­tion. Not long ago I was com­ing out of the gro­cery store and some­body greeted me and said, “Hello, how are you do­ing to­day?”

Some­thing came over me. To this day I can­not ex­plain what in the world made me do what I did. But I did it and there it is.

I could tell the per­son who asked the ques­tion was in a hurry to get into the gro­cery store but I did it any­way. He asked me how I was and so I stopped him and told him how I was.

“I’m glad you asked,” I started, “be­cause I’m not feel­ing very well to­day.” I no­ticed he was try­ing to get be­yond me, but I was go­ing to have my say no mat­ter what.

“I hurt my big toe this morn­ing, I think I broke a toe­nail. I’ve been limp­ing all day long and I’m get­ting rather tired of it.”

He looked at me and then glanced at the gro­cery store, but I pre­tended as if I did not see.

“I got up this morn­ing,” I con­tin­ued as though I had noth­ing else in the world to do, “with my back hurt­ing so much I could hardly get out of bed. I’m not so sure what hap­pened, but boy does it re­ally hurt.”

He looked at his watch and then looked at the gro­cery store en­trance again, but I con­tin­ued to pre­tend I did not see it.

“My day hasn’t gone very well,” I com­plained to him, “I just seem to be late for ev­ery­thing. I missed my ap­point­ment at the doc­tor this morn­ing and I’m not sure when I’m go­ing to get back to see that doc­tor.”

I could see he was get­ting very ner­vous and border­line agi­tated. He tried to in­ter­rupt me, but I pre­tended I did not no­tice.

“I don’t know what I’m gonna do with my car. There’s a big noise rat­tling in the en­gine and I’m not sure if I should take it in or what I should do with it.”

“Well,” he said rather anx­iously, “I gotta get into the store.” With that, he briskly walked away mut­ter­ing.

I am sure he talked about that all day long to his friends. He prob­a­bly thought I was crazy. Some­times it is good to be crazy. After all, he is the one that asked me how I was. If he did not want to know how I was, why did he ask me how I was?

I chuck­led to my­self and then I got think­ing about my prayer life. I won­der how many times I do that in my prayer life. I pray about some­thing, but I re­ally am not that in­ter­ested in it.

I won­der if Je­sus had this in mind when he said, “And all things, what­so­ever ye shall ask in prayer, be­liev­ing, ye shall re­ceive” (Matthew 21:22).

Prayer is not mean­ing­less gib­ber­ish, but faith­fo­cused ask­ing.

Dr. James L. Sny­der is pas­tor of the Fam­ily of God Fel­low­ship, Ocala, FL 34483, where he lives with the Gra­cious Mis­tress of the Par­son­age. Tele­phone 1-866-5522543, email jamess­ny­der2@ att.net. Web­site is www. jamess­ny­der­min­istries.com.

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