Some things I absolutely refuse to do. However, when I am coerced into doing one of these things I remember why I usually refuse to do them and swear a solemn oath never to do them again.
It is not things that I hate to do, necessarily, but things that get me into trouble.
For example. I positively refuse to sing in public. I love singing but my respect for human dignity, not to mention the delicate nature of human ears, restrains me from this kind of public display. It is perfectly all right for me to sing in the shower.
One of my favorite in the shower songs is, "Tiny bubbles in my wine." After 17 verses of the song, my soap-on-a-rope begins looking at me funny. Then I know it is time to get out of the shower.
Another example. I absolutely refuse to do a cartwheel in public. I know it sounds silly, and I am perfectly capable of doing a cartwheel. Although, perfectly executing a cartwheel in public is a tremendous accomplishment, falling on your face in public is not such a good accomplishment.
There is one more thing I absolutely refuse to do. I refuse to follow behind the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage while traveling. If we have to take both of our vehicles to a place I make sure we do not travel together. After all, if God wanted us to travel together like this he would not have given us cell phones.
A situation developed that caused me to compromise my long-held position in this regard. Being the humble person that I am, certain people (mentioning no names) are able to talk me into doing things I know I should not be doing.
This past week the youth in our church was scheduled to go on an overnight retreat. I was all for this, and even contributed to the expenses of this worthwhile project. The trouble came when the transportation aspect of this retreat floated to the surface of our conversation. There were too many kids to go in one vehicle, hence a second vehicle, namely Yours Truly’s, was requisitioned.
At first, I did not mind too much. After all anything to help our young people get on a little better in life was worth any special effort I might have to put forth. Then, when I understood the details of the traveling arrangements, I had second thoughts.
What concerned me was the fact that I would have to follow my wife in my vehicle. I was rather apprehensive but certain things are beyond certain people’s control.
My wife made all of the arrangements. She printed out directions and gave me a copy. Then she instructed me to follow her so we could arrive at the camp together.
I made one tactical error. I asked a question. "Do you know where you are going?"
She gave me one of "her looks," and said, "What do you think I am? An idiot or something?"
It was one of those golden moments when a husband exercises his fundamental right to keep silent knowing that everything he says will be held against him. But, oh, the temptation. I had some ideas about the "something" of her question. But I kept them to myself.
We actually arrived at the camp without incident. We got the kids registered and settled quite nicely in their accommodations. We were going to spend the night at my wife's cousin's house.
"Just follow me," my wife said, "I have the directions."
I nodded, smiled one of those smiles that was not quite sure it was a humorous moment. I was softly singing to myself a hymn, "Where he leads me I will follow."
After leaving camp, we went on a trip of a lifetime. We turn down one street and right in the middle my wife turned around and headed in the opposite direction. I dutifully did the same.
I cannot remember how many times this sort of thing occurred. Actually, I do know how many times but if I said how many times, nobody would believe me. Plus, I would get one of "those looks," from you know who.
Then we made a right turn and started up a road that quickly turned into a dirt road, which quickly turned into a sand pit, which ended up at a dead end with no place to turn around.
My wife got out of her car and walked back to me. By this time, I had a very funny retort for her. I had been practicing it for about 20 minutes. But when she got to my rolled down window, she said, "Don't you say a thing. My cousin gave me the wrong directions. I don't think she lives down this road."
I was laughing on the inside. I was so tempted... but I did not yield to the temptation. After all, I have become quite adjusted to living. As I backed out of this long dirt road, I remembered exactly why I do not like following my wife in my vehicle.
While backing up I had some time to think about God's way. "As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him" (Psalms 18:30 KJV).
I am confident that God will never lead me down a blind alley or a dead end.
Copyright, Rev. James L. Snyder
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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.