Thanks­giv­ing quandary: roast turkey or lame duck

Record Observer - - Religion -

My fa­ther used to tell me any­thing worth do­ing was worth do­ing right the first time. If you have time to do it the sec­ond time, you have time to do it right the first time.

As fathers go, he was right. It seems most peo­ple have not learned this les­son, least of all politi­cians who are sup­pos­edly serv­ing the in­ter­ests of their con­stituency. I know there are good politi­cians in Amer­ica to­day. No­body seems to know who they are, though.

The rea­son I have been think­ing about this is I’m sit­ting here in­dulging in the del­i­cate aroma float­ing in from the kitchen where the Gra­cious Mis­tress of the Par­son­age has be­gun her rit­ual of roast­ing the Thanks­giv­ing turkey. I say turkey, but re­ally, she is roast­ing three turkeys. One is for our fam­ily Thanks­giv­ing din­ner and the other two are for the church Thanks­giv­ing din­ner.

Some­where along the line, prob­a­bly years be­fore she met me, she learned the mag­nif­i­cent se­cret of do­ing things right the first time. Not like some peo­ple we hear about these days who don’t have time to do it right the first time, but seem to have plenty of time to do it over and over again, some­times four times.

Any­thing worth do­ing right the first time de­mands plan­ning. If any­one knows plan­ning, it cer­tainly is my wife. If things were left up to me, noth­ing would ever get done. I plan to learn how to plan some­day, but my plans seem to have fallen apart.

In our home, it be­gins about the mid­dle of Oc­to­ber when my wife says rather pen­sively, “Let’s see. Thanks­giv­ing is about five weeks away. Should we have a turkey this year?”

I can never tell if this is a real ques­tion, a rhetor­i­cal ques­tion or if she is try­ing to set me up for some­thing. Be­lieve me; I’ve been set up so many times I have a hard time ly­ing down. For the first hun­dred years of our mar­riage, I al­ways said, turkey. Af­ter all, what else do you have at Thanks­giv­ing time?

How­ever, this year was a lit­tle dif­fer­ent. When I re­sponded with my usual an­swer she said, “But we’ve had turkey for years. Aren’t you grow­ing bored of turkey?”

If there’s one thing I don’t ever get tired of it’s turkey. You can do so many things with turkey. There is roast turkey, sliced turkey sand­wiches, turkey salad and turkey soup just to name a few.

The only prob­lem at our house is, the turkey rarely sur­vives the first day, which is a trib­ute, not so much to our con­sump­tion as a fam­ily as to the ge­nius of the fam­ily chef. I have of­ten won­dered what turkey soup re­ally tastes like.

This ex­per­tise in the di­rec­tion of the Thanks­giv­ing roast turkey did not come with­out cost. It took years for my wife to mas­ter the art of roast­ing a turkey. Un­for­tu­nately, much of this prac­tice was on Yours Truly. She has been roast­ing me for years and still com­plains that I’m not quite done yet. That re­ally burns me up.

Only last week she com­plained I was a lit­tle hard on the out­side and rather soft on the inside. I was tempted to shift the blame on her but when it comes to this area; I am more of a lame duck than a finely roasted turkey. My phi­los­o­phy is along these lines; I’d rather let things hap­pen and then try to ad­just to the con­se­quences.

My good wife is of the opin­ion that you cre­ate your own con­se­quences. More­over, when she says this she is usu­ally looking at me a lit­tle askew.

“Don’t you know that the Thanks­giv­ing Turkey does not roast it­self?”

Be­ing the lame duck I am, that thought never played with my mind. I have al­ways en­joyed the re­sults of the roasted turkey with­out a thought about how it got to my ta­ble.

While I was en­joy­ing the aroma of the turkey roast­ing in the kitchen, I came up with sev­eral sug­ges­tions along these lines.

First, I need to find things that are worth do­ing in the first place. How much time I have wasted on things not re­ally worth my time or ef­fort is be­yond my com­pu­ta­tion. Like my wife, I need to be a lit­tle more picky about the things I choose to do. Not ev­ery­thing is worth my time.

Sec­ond, those things worth do­ing cer­tainly de­serve my best ef­forts. If I have to redo some­thing, it means I’m not putting my best ef­fort into the project. And at my age, I don’t have time to waste on things that are not worth my best ef­fort.

Third, there is no finer sat­is­fac­tion than a job well done.

I never un­der­stood that un­til re­cently. In the mid­dle of our Thanks­giv­ing din­ner when ev­ery­body is en­joy­ing the food and com­ple­ment­ing the chef, my wife is sit­ting in her chair smil­ing. I never re­ally knew why un­til now.

This must be how our heav­enly Fa­ther felt with Je­sus at his bap­tism. “And the Holy Ghost de­scended in a bod­ily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.” (Luke 3:22).

The best way to cel­e­brate Thanks­giv­ing is to rec­og­nize the won­der­ful work God has done for our sal­va­tion, which did not come with­out the ul­ti­mate cost, the sac­ri­fice of His Son. This was done once and for all.

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 1-866-552-2543, email jamess­ny­der2@att.net. Web­site is www.jamess­ny­der­min­istries.com.

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