The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and Yours Truly have lived in parsonages most of our married life. Believe me when I say it has truly been a romantic adventure of the highest order. If the saying is true, "marriages are made in heaven," then I believe parsonages have the same architect.
My good wife, as opposed to my bad wife (and she is), defines the parsonage as the place where the parson ages — "like a good cheese," I always add, at least under my breath. I don't know where she gets her wisdom, but for some inexplicable reason I, the Parson, have been aging.
Why the parson's wife never ages is one of the glorious mysteries of parsonage life. (I just threw that last line in for you know who.)
Normally — and when I say normally I mean for the most part, and when I say for the most part I mean as a general rule, and when I say as a general rule I mean normally — life in the parsonage is as blissful and serene as two lovebirds in their treetop nest. As far as I am concerned, no living quite compares to life in the parsonage.
However, and I'm quite reticent to bring up the subject, not all has been harmonious in the kingdom lately. I point no finger for fear of a broken arm, but the Missus has taken on a rather scrappy deportment. Where this indisposition has come from cannot be found in any medical dictionary I have recently consulted. I am only glad the children this woman has borne are not at home still to see this latest development. It completely defies all explanation.
I became aware of the situation just a few days ago. My wife and I had finished the duties of the day, supper was neatly tucked away and we were relaxing before the television set with our evening coffee. By all outward appearances, it seemed like an ordinary evening in the parsonage.
I look forward to these informal, relaxing evenings at home. A time we can share together in the comfort of our domicile reflecting on the activities of the day and the hopes of tomorrow. Unfortunately, these times are all too rare for my comfort.
We were watching some program on television, I don't remember what it was now, when the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage made what I thought to be a casual remark.
"Honey," … as a seasoned husband I should know this is the beginning of a sentence designed to throw me off guard. However, I was not thinking those thoughts at the time and, as time would tell, was completely vulnerable.
"Honey, I got a box of your favorite ice cream. It's in the freezer, why don't you go and get yourself a nice bowl of ice cream while we're watching TV."
I don't know what planet you are from but the mere mention of ice cream throws me completely off my orbit. With nothing but ice cream on my mind and eyes slightly glazed, I arose from my recliner and zombied for the refrigerator.
She was right. It was my favorite ice cream, chocolate. Of course, I have yet to meet an ice cream flavor I don't like.
As I headed back for the living room and my recliner, I sensed something wrong. I guess I'm just gifted that way. When something is wrong I sense it. Two problems are associated with this gift of mine. One, I never know exactly what is wrong, hence the befuddled look on my face. And two, I rarely know how to fix it.
As I situated myself in my recliner balancing my bowl of chocolate ice cream in one hand and reaching for the remote with the other hand, I detected something wrong. The remote was not where I had left it. Looking at the television screen, I also noticed it had been changed and I did not change it.
What I saw on the screen shocked me back to reality. The TV had been changed to the HGTV Network and I am an A&E Network viewer. This was where the problem started. Being the gentlemen I am, I did not demand the remote.
When God created the remote control He said, "Let it be under the Dominion of man." And so it should be. Who am I to argue with Divine predestination?
Any suggestion I made about returning the remote to its rightful owner was greeted with, "Oh, look what they're doing now."
And, of course, I had to look.
Another ominous suggestion brought, "How do you suppose they do that?"
And, of course, I had to suppose. Thus, I spent the rest of the evening.
It is not important that a house, any house, be divided. The importance comes in what is dividing that house.
Jesus put it this way; "But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth." (Luke 11:17 KJV.)
The only way to keep a house from becoming divided over the wrong thing is to maintain what I call a biblical house. David the Psalmist knew this only too well. He wrote; "Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain." (Psalms 127:1 KJV.)
My wife and I try to keep a mathematical house. If the division is balanced, and the right things subtracted, it can add up to a blissful lifestyle.
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