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Religion Column - Rev. James L. Snyder - To rob or to be robbed, that is the question

Stolen computer devotionalMany questions in life simply do not deserve the time it takes to answer them. And herein lies the greatest wisdom of all humanity. Figuring out which questions you should answer and which ones you should just let go by the wayside.

If I had my rathers, there would be very few questions I would really answer. When I say there are some questions that should not be answered, I am also inferring that some questions absolutely need to be answered. As a general rule of thumb, any question posed by the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage is definitely in the latter category. This is a matter of health... my health.

Even when she poses the question, which I know is a trick question, "Does this dress make me look old?" To ignore this question is to court trouble, and my courting days are over. After years of trial and error, mostly error, I have come to a reasonably safe answer. "Oh, my dear, nothing could ever make you look old."

The key to answer such as this is to keep them as short as possible. Any elaboration only provides opportunity to slip down that slippery slope called "You're in Trouble, Man." Then there are questions that I need to ask myself. One question that I never have to ask myself is, "Should I rob or should I not rob?"

I can hear somebody asking why I would ask such a question. And the simple answer is this, I recently was robbed.

The circumstances of the robbery are quite simple. I had been out of town for several weeks and was anxious to get back to my office and try catching up on some of my delinquent work. Actually, my work is never delinquent; it is the worker that is delinquent. But whichever way you choose to look at it, there was a lot of work that needed to be done and in a very short matter of time.

I came into my office and immediately noticed that there was something out of place. The average Philistine who would come into my office might, at first, think that it was a total wreck or the aftermath of a hurricane. But, be of good cheer, there is a degree of orderliness in my disarray.

However, something did not feel right. I know I had been away for a few weeks but I still had the feeling something was askew in my office when I entered it.

Then I noticed that the back door of my office was open. Beyond that was the sanctuary and the lights in the sanctuary were on. The back door to the sanctuary was open. Now, although my memory is not always 100%, I knew that something here was wrong.

Then I looked at my desk. It did not look right. Sure, there were papers piled very high, stacks of books here and there on my desk. But in spite of all of that, my desk looked naked. And boy, do I hate a naked desk.

Then, a terrible thought wrestled my brain to the mat and on the count of three, it finally dawned on me. My computer was gone!

First, I did not quite believe it. Someone was playing a nasty joke on me. I know, it was my wife. She came into my office to clean up my office and straighten it out. I was tempted to give her a piece of my mind. But since most of my mind was on the mat, I ruled that out. I think there is a limit to how far a joke should go.

So I picked up the phone and called my wife. When she answered I said, "Ha, Ha, Ha. Very funny joke, Ms. Cornhusker." I always call her Ms. Cornhusker when she plays a joke on me.

The other end of the phone was silent. I could hear her breathing. Then she said, "What in the world are you talking about, Mr. Numbskull." She always calls me Mr. Numbskull when she has no idea what I am talking about, which occurs a lot.

"My computer," I said. "Where did you put it?"

"I didn't put your computer anywhere."

By the time we played 17 rounds of "Who's on first," the situation began to clarify itself. The very simple elements of the situation were, I had been robbed of my computer.

Someone broke into our church, entered my office, snatched my computer and got out of Dodge. Not only did they grab my computer, but they took my backup exterior hard drive as well. My entire life was on the computer. It slowly sank in that somebody stole my computer.

I did have some biblical thoughts about this. Like, when I catch the rascal, "Let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth" (Matthew 6:3 KJV). And, "That thou doest, do quickly" (John 13: 27 KJV).

I then remembered a great story. When the famed Bible commentator, Matthew Henry was robbed, that very night he prayed: "I thank Thee, first, because I was never robbed before; second, because although they took my purse, they did not take my life; third, because although they took my all, it was not much; and fourth, because it was I who was robbed, and not I who robbed."

Therefore, it is better to be robbed than to rob.

The Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife, Martha, in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 352-687-4240 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The church web site is www.whatafellowship.com.

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