To stink, or not to stink, that is the ques­tion

Record Observer - - RELIGION -

There are all kinds of ques­tions in this world of ours. Most are rather an­noy­ing. It would not sur­prise me in the least if there were a gang of hooli­gans some­where hired to make up silly ques­tions. If I could find this gang, I would dis­perse them im­me­di­ately, with­out a ques­tion.

Of course, there is the fact that the Gra­cious Mis­tress of the Par­son­age is in ca­hoots with these ques­tion-maker-up­pers. Ever y once in a while she comes up with ques­tions for Yours Truly.

It is not the ques­tions I ob­ject to but rather the an­swers I am sup­posed to give in con­nec­tion to the ques­tions. My wife has a silly no­tion that the an­swers I give should be in di­rect cor­re­la­tion to the ques­tions she asked. Who made up this rule? Oops, that was a ques­tion. Sorry about that.

It is my opin­ion, and mine alone, es­pe­cially in my home, that if I am asked a ques­tion I should have the op­tion to give the an­swer I want to give whether it re­lates to the ques­tion or not. My wife in­sists my an­swer should be a re­sponse to her ques­tion.

More times than I care to ad­mit, when my wife is ask­ing her se­cond ques­tion, I am still think­ing about her first ques­tion. By the time she had got­ten to her sixth ques­tion, I have formed an an­swer for that first ques­tion. And when she asks her tenth ques­tion, I am an­swer­ing her first ques­tion.

It is all very con­fus­ing to me be­cause she al­ways says, ‘’That was not what I asked you?’’ It was but she was so far ahead of me that it is vir­tu­ally im­pos­si­ble for me to catch up. So, if I can­not catch up, I catch flak.

Last week, for ex­am­ple, she put to me a very pen­e­trat­ing ques­tion. ‘’What is that aw­ful smell?’’

I would not have taken of­fense to the ques­tion so much, but she was look­ing straight at me when she posed it. What I took from the ques­tion was that I, for some rea­son un­be­knownst to me, smelled pretty bad. Even though it was not Satur­day night, I took the hint and marched my raunchy body to the bath­room for a bath.

I just took for granted that there was an odor around. I do have a nose, but the pri­mary func­tion of my nose is to be a rest­ing place for my spec­ta­cles. Some­thing has to be aw­ful for me to smell it. My wife, on the other hand, has su­per­hu­man smelling prop­er­ties. She can smell a rot­ten ap­ple while it is still a blos­som on the ap­ple tree.

I thought the ques­tion of ‘’What stinks?’’ had been thor­oughly an­swered. So, I dressed and got in my car to go to the of­fice. On the drive to the of­fice, I no­ticed some­thing rather pe­cu­liar. My car stank. There was some ter­ri­ble odor in my car that I could not iden­tify. I knew it could not be me since I had just come from a fresh bath only a few mo­ments ago. But there was an un­mis­tak­able stench in the car.

I ar­rived at my of­fice, got seated be­hind my desk and be­gan some work when I no­ticed some­thing pe­cu­liar. My of­fice stank. It smelled as if some old al­ley cat had found its way into my of­fice, crawled be­hind a book­case, and died... two weeks ago. I be­gan search­ing the of­fice for the de­cay­ing car­cass cre­at­ing such a dis­gust­ing odor in my of­fice.

Fi­nally I gave up and went home. Be­fore I could tell my wife about the prob­lem at the of­fice and in the car, she sur­prised me with an­other ques­tion.

‘’What is that aw­ful smell?’’ She was look­ing straight at me with the ob­vi­ous con­clu­sion that the smell was com­ing from my di­rec­tion.

By this time, I too was notic­ing the smell so it must have been some­thing rather aw­ful. I just knew it could not have been me be­cause only two hours ago I im­mersed my­self in the bub­bly and vig­or­ously scrubbed off any odor that might have been lodged on my body. I even threat­ened my body with a Brillo pad. I knew the odor was not on me.

‘’Where is that smell com­ing from?’’ my wife de­manded as she ap­proached me with her nos­trils flar­ing. The closer she got to me the more her nose wrin­kled in agony. It was then she made a star­tling con­clu­sion.

‘’That odor is com­ing from you. You stink.’’

Well, if words could kill you would be reading a very nice obit­uar y in the news­pa­per this morn­ing. I was deeply of­fended by this ob­ser­va­tion.

When she got close to me, she ex­am­ined my per­son very care­fully and then looked down at my shoes. ‘’How long have you had those shoes?’’

They were my fa­vorite shoes so I had them quite a long time. I mum­bled some­thing like about five years.

‘’Aha, it is your shoes that stink. Those shoes are rot­ten and you will have to throw them out. I do not want to see those shoes in this house ever again.’’

I was re­minded of a verse in the Bi­ble. ‘’For though thou wash thee with ni­tre, and take thee much soap, yet thine in­iq­uity is marked be­fore me, saith the Lord GOD.’’ (Jeremiah 2:22 KJV).

You can clean up all you want to but if you are still wear­ing rot­ten shoes you still stink.

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

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