Some things are just per­sonal

Record Observer - - Religion -

I will grant I have a few ec­cen­tric­i­ties. But, far less than the Gra­cious Mis­tress of the Par­son­age has avowed through the years. Lis­ten­ing to her, a per­son might come to be­lieve my ec­cen­tric­i­ties are with­out limit. It is sim­ply not the case.

I firmly be­lieve one man’s ec­cen­tric­ity is another man’s way of do­ing some­thing. Af­ter all, every­body has a way of do­ing ev­ery­thing they do. If that is ec­cen­tric, we all have a lot of ‘plain­ing to do.

If the ta­bles were turned, I could make an equally in­fi­nite list of ec­cen­tric­i­ties as­so­ci­ated with my wife. Since she set the table, who am I to turn it? I keep this as a se­cret stash to revel in oc­ca­sion­ally when I am feel­ing a lit­tle poorly about my­self. The se­cret will go no fur­ther.

An ex­am­ple might best il­lus­trate my point. My wife thinks I am a lit­tle ec­cen­tric when it comes to pens. But, not so. I am just par­tic­u­lar when it comes to us­ing a writ­ing in­stru­ment. Af­ter all, I am a writer and writ­ers are ex­perts when it comes to writ­ing in­stru­ments. I could not play a mu­si­cal in­stru­ment, but let me have a writ­ing in­stru­ment and I can play all day long.

When it comes to writ­ing in­stru­ments, I have my pref­er­ences. When I say that, I must con­fess, I have never seen a pen I did not want to own. The pen, any pen for that mat­ter, has some­thing of an al­lur­ing draw for me. I some­times go into an of­fice-sup­ply store just to worship be­fore the ar­ray of pens they have. Rarely do I walk away with­out tak­ing one pen to the check­out counter and res­cue it from ob­scu­rity.

I pos­sess pens of ev­ery shape, color and pur­pose. As far as I am con­cerned, ev­ery pen has a par­tic­u­lar pur­pose. I al­ways carry on my per­son a va­ri­ety of pens with a diver­sity of ink col­ors be­cause you never know what you are go­ing to write do­ing the day. It would be be­neath my dig­nity to use a pen for a pur­pose other than its in­tended task.

Of­ten a cer­tain res­i­dent of our house­hold, which shall re­main name­less, has made fun of what she calls “Your silly ec­cen­tric­ity.” This per­son is al­ways look­ing at me when such re­marks are made. I am not smart, but I get her nib.

If I wanted to make a point with her, I could say she is rather ec­cen­tric when it comes to her tools. To walk into her work­shop is to be con­fronted with tools of ev­ery size, shape and pur­pose. I have watched her work and she never uses a ham­mer when she needs a screw­driver.

I once con­fronted her with this and she replied, “Oh, don’t be so silly. It’s not the same.”

Another thing some may con­sider ec­cen­tric is the fact I do not use other peo­ple’s pens. I jolly well do not like oth­ers us­ing my pen. It is just the rule I go by.

When I am at a restau­rant and it comes time to sign the credit card re­ceipt, the wait­ress al­ways sup­plies one of her pens, but I never use it. I al­ways se­lect from the as­sort­ment of pens I have on my per­son at the time.

Af­ter all, I do not know who used that pen last. Also, I would not want to pro­mote jeal­ousy among the pens I do have. This is a rather strict rule I have fol­lowed for as long as I can re­mem­ber. I do not use your pen, you do not use my pen and the world is a won­der­ful place to live in.

This past week I faced a cri­sis in this re­gard. I was stand­ing in line at the post of­fice mind­ing my own busi­ness, think­ing of the pack­age I had to mail. If you have ever been in the post of­fice line you know how long it can be and the longer it is, the less peo­ple they have to serve at the counter.

If there are two or three peo­ple in line there are six peo­ple stand­ing be­hind the counter ready to as­sist you. If there are over 12 peo­ple in line, the num­ber be­hind the counter re­duces to two. It is just the way the govern­ment works.

As I say, I was mind­ing my own busi­ness when a woman came up and ask a sim­ple ques­tion. I am used to peo­ple ask­ing me ques­tions, but this one put me in a bind.

“Could I bor­row one of your pens?”

I lacked not in pens, for I had six in my shirt pocket. It was the prin­ci­ple of the thing that got me. I had six pens, she needed to bor­row one and every­body in the post of­fice was look­ing at me, or so it seemed. My whole world stopped.

With some hes­i­ta­tion, I pulled a pen from my shirt pocket, put a smile on my face I did not re­ally mean, and handed her my pen. It used to be my fa­vorite pen, too.

Even the Bi­ble says that ev­ery­thing has a pur­pose and ev­ery pur­pose has a sea­son.

“To ev­ery thing there is a sea­son, and a time to ev­ery pur­pose un­der the heaven:” (Ec­cle­si­astes 3:1).

The great­est chal­lenge in life is to dis­cover your pur­pose, and no mat­ter how any­body else thinks about it, you stick to it and do it for the glory of God.

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 jamess­ny­ Web­site is www.jamess­ny­der­min­

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