This month I celebrate another birthday. At my age, I cannot remember exactly which one but that does not really matter. The number of the birthday, in my point of view, does not influence the celebration of the birthday.
Life has been rather good to me in many respects. The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I are a wonderful team and have been for so many years; I’m not allowed to say how many.
As a team, she can fix anything and I can break anything. That certainly goes hand-in-hand with life. No matter what I can break, she can fix. This has made life rather good.
Throughout life, I have gone under the ruse that when it comes to fixing things I am all thumbs and no fingers. I cannot seem to fix anything. Of course, if it can be fixed with a hammer I might try. When anything goes wrong in our house, I offer to fix it and my wife steps in most gallantly and retires me to my easy chair.
When I try to fix something it usually turns out worse than when I started.
I am not sure if I have created this ruse or if I really am “all thumbs.”
Regardless of the situation, as long as she can fix it, I’m comfortable in breaking it.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t break things on purpose. At least, I do not think I do. At my age, what’s thinking got to do with anything? It just happens that I have the knack of breaking things.
Nobody has ever created anything that I cannot in some way break.
So, life has been wonderful and I hope it continues to be wonderful and it will be as long as both of us stay to our role in the marriage. When I try to take over her spot or she tries to take over my spot, there is trouble a’ stirring.
Everything was going wonderfully until something happened this past week.
One thing my wife enjoys is mowing the lawn. I am not allowed to ride the lawnmower and I am not quite sure why at this point. However, if it makes her happy, it makes me happy. She spends many happy hours mowing the grass.
It is not so much that I don’t like to mow, but she likes to mow much better than I do and of course, she does a much better job at it. She knows how to keep that lawnmower running and if the engine sounds a little off key, she knows exactly what’s wrong and how to fix it and she does.
My responsibility is to give her a hand whenever I can. When she passes the front porch, I stand up and applaud as she goes by. It’s the least I can do.
Then this past week brought in a new picture. She was mowing the grass when, unbeknownst to her, she ran over a long dog chain the neighbor had somehow got into our lawn. By the time she realized what had happened, the chain had twisted all over the blades of that mower.
She pulled the mower up to the house, turned it off and began repairing it. The wire was all twisted very tightly around one of the blades under the mower. She pulled, yanked and twisted, but nothing happened.
I walked up to her and said, “Is there anything I can do to help?”
Without even looking at me she said, “No, I got everything under control.”
What I have learned throughout life is never contradict your wife. That’s the recipe for a cooked goose.
I let her go and about a half-hour later, I noticed the lawnmower was not running. I went around to see what was happening and found her still trying to untwist that wire from the mower blades.
I could see she was rather frustrated and had gotten nowhere with unraveling that wire.
“Why don’t you let me look at it?” I asked as calmly as possible.
“You can look at it,” she said kind of exasperated, “but I don’t think there’s anything you can do.”
I try to help whenever I can and I know that my “help” is rather limited compared to hers. I thought I owed it to her to look at it and exclaim, “Wow, that sure is twisted.”
I looked at it for a while, began juggling with some of the wires and discovered one wire that seemed to be a little looser than any of the other wires. I tugged and pulled at it and within about five minutes, I had all of the wire unraveled from the mower blade.
“There,” I said as calmly as possible. “I think I got it all fixed for you.”
She looked at me rather quizzically; she got down to look at the blade and exclaimed, “My goodness. You really did fix it. This must be a first.”
When she said that a light went off inside my darkened mind and I thought to myself, “This better not be the beginning of anything!”
A verse of Scripture started scampering through my mind. “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest” (Ecclesiastes 9:10).
From now on, I’m going to try to keep my hands to myself.
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.