It has been a hectic week at the parsonage. The weather was so gorgeous I really did not see it coming. Nevertheless, come it did.
It was Tuesday morning when "it" happened. I got up at my usual time.
My policy is to get up every day before noon.
Yessiree, Brother Bob, count on me being out of the old sack before lunchtime. I would hate to miss lunch. It would ruin my entire day.Actually, while drinking my third cup of breakfast coffee, I noticed a certain look on the face of the Mistress of the Parsonage. I did remember seeing that look before, but I could not place it at the moment.
I shook the feeling off and returned to my coffee. Larger things occupied my mind. After all, the weather was perfect and I refused to waste one second on frivolous speculations.
"Dear, before you go to the office, I was wondering if you could help me with one little job?"
This request from my wife seemed innocent enough. Sure, I told her. I would be glad to give a helping hand before leaving for the office. After all, isn't that what good husbands are supposed to do?
My wife wanted to turn all the mattresses in the house. Now, don't ask me why. I have no earthly reason for turning those mattresses, but years ago I discovered it is better to wonder why than ask why.
Within a few moments, we had turned all the mattresses and I was on my way out of the house.
"Oh, Dear," I heard my wife say from the back room, "would you mind helping me with just one more job before you go?"
Then it dawned on me. I remembered where I had seen that look before. It was Springtime and my wife gets that special look every Spring.
For the single woman, Springtime is the time when her fancy turns to romance. More weddings occur in June than any other month. You will often hear of a June Bride, never a June Groom.
Most engagements happen on Christmas or Valentine's Day for a very good reason. The man may have something to say about the engagement, but the date of the wedding has always been in the mysterious region of a woman's prerogative.
"Let's have a June wedding," she will say. If it is December, June is six months away and no man can think that far ahead, especially in matters of the heart.
Besides, what man in his right mind (or whatever he has left of it) will in any way undermine the excitement of his newly engaged girlfriend? It is always better to bask in the sunshine than chance a rainstorm of tears.
A single woman's fancy turns to romance, in the springtime. In the springtime, a married woman's fancy turns to Spring Cleaning.
This was the look in my dear wife's eyes Tuesday morning and I knew my week was hanging in the balance - and it definitely tipped in her favor.
Every husband knows what his wife means when she says, "Would you mind helping me with just one more job before you go?"
There is no such thing as "just one more job" with a woman infected with Springtime Cleaning Fever.
To a husband, "one more job" has a quantitative meaning. To a wife, with Cleaning Fever, it means nothing of the sort and is solely designed to offer false hope to the inexperienced husband.
My mission, should I decide to accept it, was to get out of the house. If I played my cards right, I could escape when she turned her back.
First, she had conned me into "one more job." All the furniture in the living room had to be moved so she could shampoo the carpet.
Any objections from me at this point would elicit a 45-minute dissertation on the benefits of shampooing the carpet with her new vacuum/shampoo/air-cleaning contraption that set me back a half-year's salary.
I moved said furniture, per instructions, and made a break for the front door.
Our home is built on a slab, but I swear it is haunted. No matter how carefully I walk to the front door to escape, when I step in front of the door, the floor squeaks.
"Oh, Honey," a voice chirped from the kitchen, "before you go could you help me with one more job?"
For some unknown reason, the refrigerator needed moving so my dear wife could clean behind it.
Who sees behind the refrigerator? I know, I know. Another wife.
While my dearest cleaned behind the refrigerator, I made a beeline for my car. I shut the door and tried to start the engine, only to realize I left the keys in the house.
I had no choice but to chance going back and retrieve those keys, just inside the front door. With a little bit of skill and a whole lot of luck, I could do it, undetected.
As Lady Luck would have it (she must be married), when I got to the front door, it was locked.
As my wife unlocked the door, she greeted me with, "Oh, I'm glad you haven't left yet. Would you help me with one more job?"
There is no known antidote for Spring Cleaning Fever. When I finally got to my office, I pulled out the New Testament and luxuriated in the Apostle Paul's teaching, concerning my relationship with God.
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." (Ephesians 2:8-10 KJV.)
With God, there is no "just one more job." Everything has already been accomplished in Jesus Christ. Embracing Him is the final act of devotion.
Copyright, Rev. James L. Snyder
Used With Permission
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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.