Mother said there’d be days like this

Record Observer - - RELIGION -

Moth­ers are the great­est dis­pensers of advice since God said, “Let there be light.” Some, not me, re­fer to it as ma­ter­nal in­stinct.

My own mother gave me some splen­did advice when I was grow­ing up. Un­for­tu­nately, much of Mom’s advice shed light on noth­ing. Ab­so­lutely noth­ing at all.

Let me out­line some advice my mother gave me that, to this day, I have no idea what she was talk­ing about.

I dis­tinctly re­mem­ber my mother stand­ing be­fore me, with hands on her hips, scold­ing me for some­thing and then say­ing, “Who do you think you are?”

This al­ways dis­turbed me and caused me to won­der about my na­tiv­ity. As a young per­son, I of­ten pon­dered this ques­tion my­self.

As with most teens, I had long mo­ments of iden­tity cri­sis. (When you are young most of your en­ergy goes into pro­duc­ing hor­mones, and so the brain func­tions on low volt­age.) It greatly con­fused me that the per­son who should know who I was, asked me the ques­tion I had been ask­ing my­self. If she does not know who I am, what hope do I have?

Then there was the time I asked my mother for money. She whirled around and replied, “Do you think money grows on trees?”

Up to that point, I have never given the mat­ter much thought. I sim­ply as­sumed money came from my fa­ther go­ing to work and be­ing paid. How­ever, here was some­thing new to pon­der. Where does money come from, re­ally? What added to my con­fu­sion was the name of our bank The Elm Tree Branch of First Na­tional Bank of Har­ris­burg. Now I was to­tally con­fused.

When I was quite young, I re­mem­ber ask­ing my mother for some­thing in the store. I think it was some small toy that I took a fancy to and asked my mother to buy it for me. She flatly re­fused. I com­plained and de­manded to know why. She looked me straight in the eye and said, “Be­cause I am the mother, that’s why.”

To this day, I still do not know what in the world that state­ment meant. What did her be­ing a mother have to do with buy­ing me that toy?

When she saw my con­fu­sion, she told me, “When you have chil­dren of your own, you will un­der­stand.” I have chil­dren of my own as well as grand­chil­dren, and I still do not know what she meant. It must be a mother thing, which is all I know.

Then there was the time I wanted to do some­thing with some friends and my mother would not let me. “But ev­ery­one else is go­ing,” I protested in vain. That’s when my mother gave me her spin on the sit­u­a­tion at hand.

“What if EV­ERY­ONE jumped off a cliff? Would you do it, too?”

The thing that con­fused me was, no­body was go­ing to jump off any cliff. In fact, no­body in his or her right mind would ever think of such a stupid thing. No­body, that is, but my mother. I fig­ured she must have got­ten her sadis­tic side from her mother. It must be some­thing moth­ers pass on to their daugh­ters, be­cause as a man, I don’t get it.

Most mem­o­rable of her nuggets of wis­dom to me is that piece of advice I still abide by. Be­fore I would leave the house, my mother would say, “Make sure you have clean un­der­wear on in case you get in a car ac­ci­dent and have to go to the hos­pi­tal.”

I have never fig­ured out what clean un­der­wear has to do with go­ing to the hos­pi­tal, but that piece of advice made for the worst day of my high school years. Just as I drove into the school park­ing lot one day it dawned on me that I had for­got­ten to put on clean un­der­wear. Panic raced through my teenage heart like never be­fore. I was cer­tain some disas­ter awaited me around the next cor­ri­dor.

By the end of the day, I was a ner­vous wreck. Driv­ing home, I was sure some­thing would hap­pen to me, putting me in the hos­pi­tal. I imag­ined my­self be­ing rushed into surgery and the first thing the med­i­cal team asked was, “Check his un­der­wear to see if it’s clean.”

Upon find­ing my un­der­wear not clean, they re­fused me any med­i­cal at­ten­tion and sent me back to my mother. To this day, I am para­noid about wear­ing clean, fresh un­der­wear each day. I have my mother to thank for that.

Look­ing back at what I learned af­ter years of hear­ing my mother’s advice, I have only one piece of wis­dom to pass on to you for those mo­ments with your mother. The next time your mom makes one of those parental off the wall state­ments, just smile and ask her, “When you were my age, did you walk to school or carry your lunch?”

She’ll be con­fused, and you’ll be even.

The one thing my mother did that I will al­ways be grate­ful for is that she en­cour­aged me to read my Bi­ble. She bought my first Bi­ble for me and en­cour­aged me to read and study it each day.

In that Bi­ble, as a young per­son, I ran across a verse of scrip­ture that has stood me in times of trou­ble. “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own un­der­stand­ing. In all thy ways ac­knowl­edge him, and he shall di­rect thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Thanks Mom and Happy Mother’s Day.

Dr. James L. Snyder is pas­tor of the Fam­ily of God Fel­low­ship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife in Sil­ver Springs Shores. Call him at 352-687-4240 or email jamess­ny­ The church web­site is www. whatafel­low­

QUEEN­STOWN — Je­ho­vah’s Wit­nesses from Cam­bridge, Ch­ester­town, Eas­ton and Queen­stown at­tended a Cir­cuit As­sem­bly Pro­gram in Crownsville on Sun­day, April 3.

The Bi­ble theme for the pro­gram was “In­crease Your Faith in Je­ho­vah!” Talks, in­ter­views, demon­stra­tions and per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ences were in­cluded in the pro­gram, which was at­tended by 1,103 peo­ple.

A high­light of the Sun­day morn­ing as­sem­bly was the bap­tism of nine peo­ple in demon­stra­tion of their per­sonal ded­i­ca­tion to Je­ho­vah God.

This pro­gram was one of many Cir­cuit As­sem­blies that took place in var­i­ous lo­ca­tions through­out the United States dur­ing the same week­end. Sim­i­lar pro­grams are con­ducted around the world for more than 8,340,000 Je­ho­vah’s Wit­nesses world­wide.

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