Can two walk to­gether, to the same store?

Record Observer - - Religion -

After about a mil­lion days of toil, sweat and ag­gra­va­tion, the Gra­cious Mis­tress of the Par­son­age and I de­cided to take a few days off and re­lax.

I am not a real ex­pert when it comes to re­lax­ing. I have not pur­sued a PhD in re­lax­ing and there­fore it is a for­eign theme to me.

Of course, I have ad­vised many peo­ple to chill out, re­lax a lit­tle bit and not get so ex­cited about things. What doc­tor do you know who takes his own medicine? Or, what pas­tor do you know that lis­tens to his own ser­mon?

I could preach a ser­mon to beat all ser­mons on re­lax­ing and not get­ting so up­tight about things. You would think after lis­ten­ing to some of th­ese ser­mons that I was an ex­pert in this area. My ex­per­tise is only in telling other peo­ple what they should be do­ing. I do not have time to lis­ten to my own ser­mons.

My wife and I re­al­ized a month or so ago that we have not taken a day off in over six months. Ac­tu­ally, we were try­ing to fig­ure out the last time we did take a day off.

“I think,” my wife said most re­flec­tively, “that we should take a day off and re­lax.”

It has been my pol­icy through­out my mar­i­tal life to not dis­agree with my wife. This was one of those times when I was in full agree­ment with her state­ment. It doesn’t hap­pen of­ten, when it does, it is time to cel­e­brate.

For us, a cou­ple days off takes a cou­ple months of plan­ning and when I say plan­ning, I mean plan­ning.

We had to co­or­di­nate the date with the rest of our fam­ily, and with the church sched­ule.

I fully un­der­stand that the church will run quite well with­out me, but I have conned my­self into be­liev­ing that it can’t. That means, I have to make special plans for when I take a day off.

It did not take me long to rear­range my sched­ule, but it was a dif­fer­ent story with my wife.

She had to co­or­di­nate her sched­ule for a cou­ple days off with both of the daugh­ter’s sched­ule be­cause she watched the grand­chil­dren while the par­ents were work­ing. It took sev­eral months for her to co­or­di­nate all of the sched­ules and fi­nally, voilà, we arranged a time that we could “leave Dodge,” and head to St. Augustine for a cou­ple days off.

We left after the Sun­day evening ser­vice and our plan was to re­turn Wed­nes­day be­fore the Wed­nes­day night ser­vice. If you plan some­thing right, it all comes to­gether.

We left that Sun­day night and headed for our mo­tel to set­tle down for sev­eral days of rest and fri­vol­ity. I do ad­mit that I have a PhD in fri­vol­ity and so I was ready to for friv­ole. (Par­don my French).

When we woke up Mon­day morn­ing, I be­gan to re­al­ize that my def­i­ni­tion of rest was not ex­actly the def­i­ni­tion my wife em­braced.

For me rest is stay­ing in bed with a cup of cof­fee in one hand and a good book in the other hand. Ac­tu­ally, in my hand was my tablet, which had my Kin­dle app, which con­tains over 300 books. The hard­est de­ci­sion I had was to choose which book I was go­ing to read first.

I had re­cently pur­chased the Kin­dle edi­tion of “The Com­plete Fa­ther Brown Mys­ter­ies” by G. K. Ch­ester­ton. Oh, that Fa­ther Brown. What an in­ter­est­ing char­ac­ter he is.

I had just got into the first story when I heard from my wife, “Well, are you ready to go?”

It was then I dis­cov­ered her def­i­ni­tion of rest is not my def­i­ni­tion of rest.

Her def­i­ni­tion of rest is to visit all the thrift stores in the St. Augustine area. Un­for­tu­nately for me, she knows ev­ery one of them.

With a lit­tle bit of per­sua­sion on her part I got out of bed, dressed and walked with her to the car so she could drive us to the first thrift store.

It has been a long time since I have been in a thrift store and so I had for­got­ten pretty much what it was all about. I walked in the first one and that thrift store aroma smacked me right in the face.

“Doesn’t that,” my wife said with a gig­gle in her throat, “smell won­der­ful?”

Ob­vi­ously, we have noses from dif­fer­ent re­sources and my nose said, “Yuck, what stinks?” I was afraid to give the in­for­ma­tion to my nose in fear that it would start a sneez­ing fit.

After five min­utes I had seen ev­ery­thing in that thrift store I wanted to see. So, I said to my wife, “Could I bor­row the car keys?”

“You’re not done shop­ping?” she said quizzi­cally.

I nod­ded my head and with a great deal of hes­i­ta­tion, she handed over the car keys and I ex­ited the thrift store and three steps out of the door my nose said to me, “Thanks.”

I must say that my wife and I are good part­ners in just about ev­ery­thing ex­cept in this area of re­lax­ation. How­ever, ev­ery good re­la­tion­ship has its op­po­sites. The im­por­tant thing is to rec­og­nize the op­po­site and not al­low that to de­fine the re­la­tion­ship.

I like what the prophet Amos said, “Can two walk to­gether, ex­cept they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3).

The best part of a re­la­tion­ship is walk­ing to­gether.

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

GRA­SONVILLE — Ch­e­sa­peake Church of Christ presents Suit Up! Va­ca­tion Bi­ble School, 9:30 to 11:45 a.m., Satur­day, June 24, for ages 3 to 10, at the church, 405 Drum­mer Drive. En­joy skits, lessons, games and crafts. Put on the full ar­mor of God. Free. RSVP to 410-8277087.

GRA­SONVILLE — The Spir­i­tual Ves­sels of Hur­lock will be in con­cert at 3:30 p.m. Sun­day, June 25, at Bryan’s United Methodist Church. All are in­vited. The Rev. Clarence A. Way­man is pas­tor.

CENTREVILLE —All are in­vited to join with St. Paul’s Parish, at 10 a.m. Sun­day, June 25, at 301 South Lib­erty Street in Centreville for Stand to Sup­port Refugees Sun­day.

The ser­vice will be­gin at 10 a.m. and will fea­ture guest speaker, Jenny Siegel, Refugee Child Pro­tec­tion Co­or­di­na­tor at the U. S. Con­fer­ence of Catholic Bish­ops.

A cof­fee hour will fol­low wor­ship. That gath­er­ing will be fol­lowed by a con­gre­ga­tional walk to the Court House Green, where public prayers will be of­fered.

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