Take time to laugh and med­i­cate your soul

Record Observer - - Religion -

I find too of­ten I get all caught up with the busy­ness of life that I for­get some things. For ex­am­ple, last week the Gra­cious Mis­tress of the Par­son­age and I had birth­days.

Our birth­days are only two days apart, which is con­ve­nient for me. My birth­day is first, and if my wife gets me any­thing for my birth­day, it re­minds me I need to get some­thing for her birth­day two days later. I could not plan it out any bet­ter had I tried.

When we cel­e­brate our birth­days, I know which one I was cel­e­brat­ing, but I’m not al­lowed to men­tion the one my wife was cel­e­brat­ing. I did that once, but I learned my les­son and I will never, ever do it, ever again. Did I men­tion ever?

Our week was so busy we re­ally did not have time to for­mally cel­e­brate our birth­days. We try to do that ev­ery year, but this year our sched­ules did not per­mit such a cel­e­bra­tion.

The fol­low­ing week, how­ever, went a lit­tle bit slower and we had a day where by lunchtime we were fin­ished. I sug­gested to my wife, “Why don’t we go out and cel­e­brate our birth­days at some restau­rant?”

With­out even blink­ing, she re­sponded in the af­fir­ma­tive.

“You,” I said as I al­ways say, “pick out the restau­rant you would like to go to and we’ll cel­e­brate our birth­days to­gether.”

This has been the pro­ce­dure all through our life. She gets to pick the restau­rant, and I get to pick up the ticket. This has worked most fa­mously for us and as far as I’m con­cerned, I’m not go­ing to change any­thing that still works. I have been mar­ried too long to jeop­ar­dize any­thing that works.

We got ready and got in the car, I al­lowed her to drive as I al­ways do, and we headed for the restau­rant of her choice. I love it when a plan comes to­gether.

All the way to the restau­rant, we were smil­ing, gig­gling and just en­joy­ing our­selves.

At the restau­rant, the host­ess took us to our seat and gave us our menus. We still were smil­ing and gig­gling be­cause we had a whole night with noth­ing to do ex­cept cel­e­brate our birth­days.

About half­way through our meal the man­ager of the restau­rant was go­ing around greet­ing his cus­tomers. He came to our ta­ble and cheer­fully said, “How’s ev­ery­thing go­ing tonight?”

I’m the kind of per­son that does not like to miss op­por­tu­ni­ties. Since we were in a state of gig­gleiza­tion, I for­got my man­ners and re­sponded back to him.

“This is the best,” I said, try­ing to hold back some gig­gles, “spaghetti I have ever eaten.”

Of course, the restau­rant we were in did not serve spaghetti in any shape, size or form. I just like to have a lit­tle bit of fun while I’m eat­ing.

To my great de­light, with­out even blink­ing an eye, the man­ager said, “I’m so glad be­cause we’ve been sav­ing that spaghetti for the last six months just for you.”

That was just the be­gin­ning of our jok­ing back and forth. The pa­trons sur­round­ing us were laugh­ing and it was a won­der­ful joke. He could give-and­take, and I could give-and­take as well. I love it when a plan comes to­gether.

Our wait­ress came and served our meal and I still could not get away from my state of gig­gleiza­tion. Once I’m there, it’s a hard road for me to back out. So I said to her, “I was just talk­ing to your man­ager, Michael, and he said if I men­tioned to you how lovely you look to­day you would give me a dis­count on my bill.”

All the pa­trons around us were laugh­ing and she looked at me and said, “Okay, I’ll talk to him about it and see what we can do.”

I thought she was just jok­ing and ev­ery­body around us was laugh­ing and gig­gling about it.

Then, she brought the bill for our birth­day sup­per. As I looked at it, I no­ticed there was a dis­count line on our ticket. The dis­count was for one cent. I looked at it, showed it to my wife and we both burst out laugh­ing. A penny dis­count, as my fa­ther used to say, is a penny in my pocket.

I took the ticket up to the cash reg­is­ter to pay it and the cashier looked at it and said, “What’s this?” point­ing to the dis­count line on the ticket. She had no idea what it was.

“It is,” I said, hold­ing back as much of my gig­gle as pos­si­ble, “a dis­count on my meal for this evening.”

“A dis­count?” she said quizzi­cally, “a dis­count for what?”

I could tell she was con­fused and so I told her, “Michael, the man­ager, said if I told our wait­ress how lovely she looked tonight we would get a dis­count on our bill.”

I think that was the first time that ever hap­pened in that restau­rant and I’m so glad it hap­pened what we were cel­e­brat­ing our birth­day to­gether.

We gig­gled all the way home that night and I was re­minded of one of my fa­vorite Bi­ble verses. “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a bro­ken spirit dri­eth the bones” (Proverbs 17:22).

Some peo­ple take life way too se­ri­ously. If you know what to laugh at, it cer­tainly will med­i­cate your soul to the point of joy­ful­ness.

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 jamess­ny­der2@att.net. The church web­site is www. whatafel­low­ship.com.

BURRISVILLE — Mt Zion United Methodist Church, 200 Mt Zion Cir­cle, will cel­e­brate Women’s Day at 3:30 p.m. Aug. 13.

The guest speaker is Rev. Pearl Geter, pas­tor of Union Bethel AME in Denton, along with her choir and con­gre­ga­tion.

Repast will be served at 2:30 PM. All are wel­come.

The Rev. Lisa Graine is pas­tor.

GRA­SONVILLE — Bryan’s United Methodist Church will ob­serve its an­nual Gould­town Day at 3:30 p.m. Sun­day, Aug. 13. The guest preacher will be Rev. Lar­rie Handy, choir and con­gre­ga­tion from St. Ge­orge United Methodist Church. All are in­vited.

CENTREVILLE — New Life Com­mu­nity United Methodist Church will hold a school sup­ply give away at 5 p.m. Thurs­day, Aug. 17.

CHURCH HILL — Mt. Ver­non United Methodist Church will hold a fish fry from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Satur­day, Au­gust 19.

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