There are all kinds of questions in this world of ours. Most are rather annoying. It would not surprise me in the least if there were a gang of hooligans somewhere hired to make up silly questions. If I could find this gang, I would disperse them immediately, without a question.
Of course, there is the fact that the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage is in cahoots with these question-maker-uppers. Every once in a while she comes up with questions for Yours Truly.
It is not the questions I object to but rather the answers I am supposed to give in connection to the questions. My wife has a silly notion that the answers I give should be in direct correlation to the questions she asked. Who made up this rule? Oops, that was a question. Sorry about that.
It is my opinion, and mine alone, especially in my home, that if I am asked a question I should have the option to give the answer I want to give whether it relates to the question or not. My wife insists my answer should be a response to her question.
More times than I care to admit, when my wife is asking her second question, I am still thinking about her first question. By the time she had gotten to her sixth question, I have formed an answer for that first question. And when she asks her tenth question, I am answering her first question.
It is all very confusing to me because she always says, ''That was not what I asked you?'' It was but she was so far ahead of me that it is virtually impossible for me to catch up. So, if I cannot catch up, I catch flak.
Last week, for example, she put to me a very penetrating question. ''What is that awful smell?''
I would not have taken offense to the question so much, but she was looking straight at me when she posed it. What I took from the question was that I, for some reason unbeknownst to me, smelled pretty bad. Even though it was not Saturday night, I took the hint and marched my raunchy body to the bathroom for a bath.
I just took for granted that there was an odor around. I do have a nose, but the primary function of my nose is to be a resting place for my spectacles. Something has to be awful for me to smell it. My wife, on the other hand, has superhuman smelling properties. She can smell a rotten apple while it is still a blossom on the apple tree.
I thought the question of ''What stinks?'' had been thoroughly answered. So, I dressed and got in my car to go to the office. On the drive to the office, I noticed something rather peculiar. My car stank. There was some terrible odor in my car that I could not identify. I knew it could not be me since I had just come from a fresh bath only a few moments ago. But there was an unmistakable stench in the car.
I arrived at my office, got seated behind my desk and began some work when I noticed something peculiar. My office stank. It smelled as if some old alley cat had found its way into my office, crawled behind a bookcase, and died... two weeks ago. I began searching the office for the decaying carcass creating such a disgusting odor in my office.
Finally I gave up and went home. Before I could tell my wife about the problem at the office and in the car, she surprised me with another question.
''What is that awful smell?'' She was looking straight at me with the obvious conclusion that the smell was coming from my direction.
By this time, I too was noticing the smell so it must have been something rather awful. I just knew it could not have been me because only two hours ago I immersed myself in the bubbly and vigorously scrubbed off any odor that might have been lodged on my body. I even threatened my body with a Brillo pad. I knew the odor was not on me.
''Where is that smell coming from?'' my wife demanded as she approached me with her nostrils flaring. The closer she got to me the more her nose wrinkled in agony. It was then she made a startling conclusion.
''That odor is coming from you. You stink.''
Well, if words could kill you would be reading a very nice obituary in the newspaper this morning. I was deeply offended by this observation.
When she got close to me, she examined my person very carefully and then looked down at my shoes. ''How long have you had those shoes?''
They were my favorite shoes so I had them quite a long time. I mumbled something like about five years.
''Aha, it is your shoes that stink. Those shoes are rotten and you will have to throw them out. I do not want to see those shoes in this house ever again.''
I was reminded of a verse in the Bible. ''For though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before me, saith the Lord GOD.'' (Jeremiah 2:22 KJV).
You can clean up all you want to but if you are still wearing rotten shoes you still stink.
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.