TripRecently, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I were able to take a well-earned vacation. One of our grandsons graduated from high school in Ohio, and we decided to go and celebrate with him. It is amazing what you learn when you go on a vacation.

I learned some things about the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. You would think by this time I would have discovered everything there is about her. But I was to be delightfully surprised. Up to this point, she is known as the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage as well as the BOGO Queen. If that isn’t enough I was to learn a lot more about her. As soon as we started our vacation, I realized she had a new identity. She is the Travel Princess, and she sits on her throne behind the wheel of her Sissy Van.

This new identity caught me off guard, but the longer on the road, the more I understood this new identity.

As we drove along, I could not help but smile as I thought about this. Before us was a 9.5 hour drive to our destination. We planned to cut it in half and spend the night at some motel along the way.

Our second day was rather interesting. I think there were at least ten transport trucks on the highway for every car. I have never seen so many trucks in all my life. Despite all the trucks, the Travel Princess was able to maneuver around them, and I was rather impressed.

Then a certain situation developed. There was a truck in front of us, a truck behind us, a truck on the right side and a truck on the left side of us. We were blocked in by four different trucks.

I noticed that the situation was getting a little stressful for the Travel Princess.

Then the situation took on a somewhat different attitude. The truck on the left side was in line with the Sissy Van, and someone was sitting on the passenger side looking out towards us and waving defiantly at the Travel Princess. I am sure he did not know what kind of mess he was getting involved in.

The Travel Princess looked at him with one of her looks that I'm sure he never saw before. Then I glanced at the guy sitting on the passenger side, and all of a sudden, his chin dropped down, his eyes bulged like he had seen a ghost, and I'm sure he had never been as scared before in all his life.

At that moment, the truck he was in slowed down and allowed us to change lanes, go around and get ahead of the trucks. Then, as we changed lanes and passed the truck in front of us, I could see her face was still carrying that defiant attitude and look that she gave the guy driving the truck next to us.

Passing the truck in front of us, the driver looked at us with one of those looks hard to explain but the kind of look that you know he had been surprised. When encountering the Travel Princess, none of those truck drivers realized whom they were dealing with. I certainly would not want to have been one of those truck drivers at that time. Believe me; I've been in their shoes.

I was so glad to be riding with the Travel Princess at the time, knowing I was in good hands.

A week later, we drove through some rather bumpy roads when we were coming back. I am not sure how we got into that situation, but I was very comfortable knowing that the Travel Princess was in charge, and I had nothing to worry about. That is until something changed.

As we were bumping along, I heard the Travel Princess sigh deeply and then heard her say something very alarming.

"Something needs to be done with these roads. Somebody needs to fix it."

What I heard made me drop my jaw, and my eyes bulged. I said to myself, "Did I hear what she said?" I knew that when she saw something that needed to be fixed, she would do everything within her power to stop and fix everything. So now, I thought she wanted to fix the road.

Very carefully, I explained to her, "To fix this road, you have to have a state contractor's license and then permits from the county to do it. And those things will take an awful lot of time, which we don't have."

Without even looking in my direction, she slowly said, "Well, I think you're right, and I really don't have time to stop and fix this road."

I cannot tell you how relieved I was to dodge that bullet, which does not happen to me very often. But I sighed very deeply and could not wait until we got off this kind of road.

As we were finishing our drive home, I could not help but think one of my favorite verses of Scripture. “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning” (Psalm 30:4-6).

Like many other people, I sometimes get all caught up in the weeping stage and forget about the joy stage. No matter how bad the weeping might be, there is down the road for me joy and that is the greatest anticipation of my life.

Rev James Snyder videoDr. 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. James is an award winning author whose books are available at

Call him at 352-687-4240 or e-mail [email protected]. The church web site is

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