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Last week my wife sent me to the mall on an errand. Normally I don't like going to the mall, especially by myself, but when my wife sends me, I submit to my husbandly duty.

Years ago when I joined her at the altar and said "I do," I did not realize at the time I would be "doing" such things. But I did and so I am.

Everything went well at the mall and I actually found what I was looking for. Success, I can tell you, is all it is cracked up to be. I then left the mall to go to my car. Much to my consternation, my car was nowhere to be found.

I must confess to being a bit absent-minded at times. Always on the lookout for sermon and column ideas, I sometimes am not aware of my immediate surroundings but this time my displaced car quickly brought me to my senses.

I knew I drove my car to the mall for here I was at the mall. There was no other way for . . .

Last week my wife sent me to the mall on an errand. Normally I don't like going to the mall, especially by myself, but when my wife sends me, I submit to my husbandly duty.

Years ago when I joined her at the altar and said "I do," I did not realize at the time I would be "doing" such things. But I did and so I am.

Everything went well at the mall and I actually found what I was looking for. Success, I can tell you, is all it is cracked up to be. I then left the mall to go to my car. Much to my consternation, my car was nowhere to be found.

I must confess to being a bit absent-minded at times. Always on the lookout for sermon and column ideas, I sometimes am not aware of my immediate surroundings but this time my displaced car quickly brought me to my senses.

I knew I drove my car to the mall for here I was at the mall. There was no other way for me to get here. So, where in the world was my car?

The first thing I did was go to the place where I usually park. When going to the mall I try to park at the same spot every time to spare myself this agony. However, to my dismay, there was another car parked there. How dare someone park in my spot?

I began systematically to search the area for my car, eventually returning to the spot where I normally park. The car parked in my spot looked a lot like my wife's car, but I immediately dismissed that idea.

Why would my wife be at the mall when it was she who sent me? Surely, she was not checking on me. No, that is not my wife's car. I continued the search.

As I searched, a nasty thought began to crawl around my agitated mind. Someone stole my car. However, it did not make sense. Who in their right mind would steal my car?

As a member of the clergy, I have a parking pass to use the same parking lot as doctors at the hospital. When I first used it, I made sure I locked my car up tight. Then one day it dawned on me; who in their right mind would break into my car when there are Mercedes and Cadillacs in the same parking lot?

My car is an old Chevy, which has seen better days. It certainly would not be a prize for anyone seeking loot or transportation. That said, I dismissed the idea that someone stole my car, which brought me back to the simple fact that I could not find it.

I confess I was in the beginning stages of panic. My car had to be somewhere. I reconstructed all the events leading up to coming to the mall. Again, it brought me to my usual parking spot.

If I did not know any better, I would swear the car in my spot was my wife's. Being a minister, I don't give in to swearing.

It is amazing just how many cars there are that look alike. But my car was nowhere to be found.

The only thing I could do was call my wife and explain why I was late in coming home. Such things have not endeared me to my wife in the past.

I went back into the mall, got a cup of coffee and sat on a bench contemplating my dilemma. Maybe if I just relaxed for a moment I could figure out what to do.

After my refreshment, I thought I would take another look in the parking lot. Maybe I was just a little stressed. It was worth a try but I still came up empty.

I slowly walked back into the mall knowing what I had to do. I had to call my wife. After all, it was her fault I was here in the first place. This thought boosted my courage a little so I made the fateful call.

After I explained my frustrating situation, she said something that completely altered my life. (Wives have a way of doing that. No matter how far we, as husbands, go astray, our wives have the innate ability to bring a sense of direction to us. This is the reason men do not ask directions. Our wives are always telling us where to go.)

"You did remember," my dear wife calmly said, "that you drove my car to the mall?"

My memory, or lack of it, has caused me some pain over the years. I may have the appetite of an elephant but certainly not the memory. In some ways, it is a mixed blessing ? like when my wife wants me to remember her birthday but not necessarily which one.

Sometimes forgetting is hard, like a grudge or someone who hurt you. These things can plague our minds. Blessed is the man who knows what to forget and when to forget it.

One thing that really amazes me is the fact that God can forget. "For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more." (Hebrews 8:12 KJV.)

The thought that God can forget my sins is wonderful. This truth has brought me much comfort and has improved the quality of my life. God truly delights in this kind of amnesia.

Copyright, Rev. James L. Snyder
Used With Permission
For reprint permission, contact the auther through his site at:
http://www.realezsites.com/bus/godspenman

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