From a practical standpoint, and if I am anything I am practical, well, practically, this year has gone by rather quickly. The fact I have survived this past year has to count for something.
I was musing on this with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage just the other day. I was feeling rather comfortable with myself and was congratulating myself on making it through another year. After all, the facts speak for themselves.
“Well,” my wife began rather deliberately, “I guess you did survive the year.”
“What in the world is that supposed to mean,” I queried. I must say I was a little agitated by the tone of her voice. After all, I did survive the year.
It was quiet for a few minutes and then she said, “What about your New Year’s resolutions?”
I informed her I was working on a brand-new set of New Year’s resolutions for the upcoming year. I think it’s rather important to jot down a few things you would like to do, maybe some improvements you would like to make or maybe something I should like to give up for the New Year.
“That’s not what I mean.”
I looked at her quizzically not really understanding what she was talking about.
“What about the New Year’s resolutions for this year.” And she looked at me with one of those looks.
You do not have to hit me with a baseball bat for me to understand what’s going on, although sometimes it does help. To be quite truthful I had not thought of those New Year’s resolutions, well, for the whole year.
“Would you like me to recite the New Year’s resolutions you made last year?”
Oh boy. I saw a news story the other day about people who could remember every day of their life in minute detail. I do not know how that feels, but I do know how it feels to live with someone who can remember every detail of my life.
I have a photographic memory; the problem is I have been out of film for three decades.
It got me to thinking about my New Year’s resolutions for this year. I must say that after looking at this list I did not fare too well.
I had resolved to improve my diet and lose some weight. Fortunately, I did not put down how much weight I proposed to lose. I did lose 1 pound 974 times but it always found its way home. I spent some time in Michigan this past summer and just as I was leaving, I threw a pound out the window and hurried on. By the time I got home to Florida that pound was waiting for me at the front door munching on an Apple fritter. What’s a person to do?
Also, another item on my New Year’s resolution list was, “I resolve not to work harder but smarter this coming year.” At the time, I thought it was a very brilliant thing to say. And, don’t get me wrong, it is.
I have mastered the part of not working harder, but the smarter aspect of that resolution eluded me. Whose definition of smarter should apply here? Certainly, I will not appeal to my wife’s idea about smarter. She has an altogether different concept of this whole area of working smarter.
My only consolation is that my definition of the subject is, it is always smarter not to work harder. If we apply that definition to my New Year’s resolution, I passed with flying colors.
Then my good wife reminded me of another part of my New Year’s resolution. According to her memory, and I am in no position to challenge it, I had resolved to exercise more during the year. At the moment, I exercised my right to object to her memory. But, I lost that one.
The only actual exercise I got this past year was several times I had a runny nose. Believe me, that exercised me to no end, but it was not on track with my wife’s idea of exercise.
At this point of life, I think exercise is blown way out of proportion. I tried to persuade my wife that working my elbow at breakfast and lunchtime as well as suppertime was all the exercise I really needed. She said to me, “When was the last time you saw your feet?”
At the moment, I exercised my right to shut up!
Then it dawned on me. I actually did get my share of exercise in this past year.
I exercised my right to be wrong when confronted by my wife.
I exercised my right to keep quiet when my wife was giving me instructions.
All that exercise may not have helped me lose weight but it helped me gain in my relationship with my wife.
I pondered this for some time and realized that many times it is better to admit you are wrong and save your relationship. Those who have to be right all the time are those who end up never being right. I thought of what the apostle Paul said. “Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?” (1 Corinthians 6:7 KJV).
Sometimes it is better to suffer wrongfully for a good purpose.
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 e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The church website is www.whatafellowship.com.