I don't know why, but if anything adverse is going to happen to me it will, invariably, be on a Thursday. Any given Thursday in the year and you will find me in some kind of a quandary.
I have given some serious thought to going to bed on Wednesday night and not waking up until Friday morning. But I know if I ever did that the house would burn down on Thursday and I'd have to get up anyway.
That's not the kind of person I am. I defy the world in general, and Thursdays in particular. Come quandary or high water, I'm going to get out of bed on Thursday morning just like any other day of the week.
Recently, I was enjoying a reprieve from my Thursday syndrome. For some time I was toddling along, as carefree as a cat enjoying her third life with the confidence of six more to come, when it happened.
Save your sympathy until I lay all the facts before you, and then pour it on.
Last Thursday I was looking for my old shaving kit. I hadn't seen it for years and for some odd reason I got it in my head that I wanted it. I looked everywhere.
Have you ever noticed when you are looking for something it is always in the last place you look?
In desperation, I decided to take my life in hand and look through some of my wife's closets in the back room.
How many shoes can one person wear? Some of those shoes had come in and out of style 17 times - but you didn't hear it from me.
When I thought I had looked everywhere, I happened to notice, in the back of one closet, a small shoebox different from all the rest. I am, by nature, a very nosey person and without further thought, I reached for the box and opened it.
When I opened the strange box, I discovered it contained three eggs and 100 $1 bills. For the life of me, I could not understand what it was all about.
I know some things in life just don't make sense but this was a little ridiculous. What was this box doing in the back room closet?
Not coming to any logical conclusion on my own, I called my wife and asked if she knew anything about this odd little box. Immediately I could see she was a little embarrassed about it.
I did feel a little uncomfortable. Perhaps I had stumbled onto some secret of hers, something secretive with sentimental aspects to it.
Finally, she broke down and admitted that for the entire time of our marriage she had kept this box hidden from me. I don't know how to express it, but I was a little bit hurt. After all, here was something she had kept secret all these years.
I always believed we didn't have any secrets between us. So, I asked her why.
She replied, "I just didn't want to hurt your feelings."
I did not know how a box with three eggs and 100 $1 bills could hurt my feelings. After all, what kind of person did she think I was? Therefore, I put it to her.
Then the story came out. "From the time we began in the ministry," she said, "I've placed an egg in the box every time you delivered a poor sermon."
I looked at her. Then I looked at the box with the three eggs. Then I laughed. You know, one of those good long hearty laughs that come from somewhere down deep inside a person.
I thought to myself, "what a gem of a wife I have."
This November I will celebrate 30 years in the ministry and in all that time my wife only discovered three bad sermons. I didn't say anything at the time, but I know I have delivered four bad sermons during that period.
Of course, there was that sermon in 1987, but she didn't hear that one, she was at our church camp for the week. I was beginning to feel a little good about myself (something I should never do) and my preaching ability.
I wonder, how many preachers can say that in 30 years of preaching every week they only delivered three poor ones? Then I remembered the 100 $1 bills beside the three eggs in the box.
As long as I have known myself, I can't remember a time when I stopped while I was ahead of the game. Oh, no. I must press on and ask one more question.
"Well, my Dear," I persisted, "where did these dollar bills come from?"
Again, she hesitated, and then replied a little sheepishly, "Every time I got a dozen eggs I sold them to the neighbors for $1."
The incident reminded me of something the Apostle Paul said. "Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." (1 Cor. 10:12 KJV.)
Falling is inevitable, at least with me. However, in the next verse Paul gives encouragement. "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." (1 Cor. 10:13 KJV.)
Remember, whenever you have egg on your face, God's towel is always there - a big towel.