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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Rest (06/14/04)

By James Snyder


Regrettably, this past week the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and Yours Truly experienced a clash of attitudes.

I can sum up my attitude in life quite nicely: Never do today what can be put off until tomorrow.

Who knows? I may forget the whole thing by then, something I am renowned for around the parsonage, if you know what I mean.

On the other hand, my life’s companion firmly believes in doing things far ahead of time. For instance, by the end of August all her Christmas shopping is finished, wrapped and stored in the guestroom waiting for the Christmas tree.

She has a wonderful knack for planning. What I want to know is how does she know if I’m going to be naughty or nice?

Usually I give in to my better half. After all, that’s what a great marriage is all about; give and take. As a dutiful husband, I take everything she gives me.

However, this time an important principle was at stake. Some things in life are worth fighting for and this represented one of those times.

For years, I have suffered from a condition known as Afternoon Siesta Syndrome. My beloved calls it something else.

Each afternoon I stretch out for an hour of rest. In that hour, I meditate on some of the more important issues of life.

I can’t tell you how many significant problems I have resolved during my daily afternoon forty winks. I say I can’t tell you not because I don’t want to, but when I arouse myself from my snooze I can’t remember the solution.

All I know is that somewhere in the recesses of my mind are wonderful resolutions to some of the most intricate problems facing our world today. In this regard, I don’t know how often my wife has said to me, “You need to see a psychiatrist.”

This leads me to the subject of our difference this past week. I am a firm believer in the “Art of Casual Loafing.”

The reason loafing gets such a bad rap is because so many amateurs try their hand at it.

Let me say right here that loafing is definitely not for the inexperienced. There is a level of skill and expertise that only comes from diligent practice.

Personally, I have invested 50 years in the Art of Casual Loafing, which qualifies me as some sort of an expert on the subject. I am a proud, card-carrying member of the ACL union. I could have been elected president but we haven’t got around to elections yet.

Many, and when I say many, I am especially including my companion, take loafing as something that comes rather easy.

Oh, quite contraire, Mon Frére. Nothing could be further from the truth.

My spouse thinks loafing is a tragic waste of time. She thinks things need doing in a timely fashion, like “Right Now.”

The garbage must be taken out “Right Now.”

The backyard needs mowing “Right Now.”

The groceries in the back of the car need brought in “Right Now.”

A person can take this “Right Now” business too far, if you ask me. I like to take things a little more casual than that.

This “Right Now” hang-up can create some serious stress in relationships. Especially between hers and mine.

“There’s no time like the present,” my wife often tells me with a look in her eye defying me not to do what she just requested.

When I want to resolve a difficulty I resort to the Bible. This was no exception.

Much to my amazement, the word “now” occurs in the Bible 1,356 times, which is rather impressive. I never thought of it before.

What I discovered startled me. I had to admit that in certain things my dear wife is correct. Some things must be done “Right Now.”

Two Bible verses emphasized the importance of “Right Now.”

In the book of Isaiah, I read these words: “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Isaiah 1:18 KJV) Then, in the New Testament I found this verse “… behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:2 KJV)

“Right Now” is the best time to address your relationship with Jesus Christ.

Member Comments
Member Date
Lisa Bumgarner06/28/04
Great story and story-teller!
Rose Gingerich06/28/04
I'd like to tell you "right now" I loved your story. It was great
Annette Agnello06/28/04
I Love all your entries, contest or not have you considered doing a book?
dub W06/29/04
Insightful and well written...watch paragraphing, some ideas seemed to jump over boundries, but otherwise a great job.
L.M. Lee06/29/04
James, it is always a delight to visit the parsonage with you each week. I do hope you are complying all these stories for a book!
Deborah Porter 06/29/04
Yes James, you know that you are always a blessing and delight - a guaranteed smile-producer. Only you could manage to take the "rest" theme and turn it into action - and it worked! With love, Deb
Marcell Billinghurst06/30/04
Very well written with your usual touch of humour. I enjoyed the spiritual lesson at the end. In all things there is a time to work and a time to play. A time to rest and a time to do things right now. Good to see you could see your wife's perspective on this. God bless you and keep writing. You are a gifted writer. You need to put your stories in a book. I am sure it would be a winner.
Christine Rhee06/30/04
what a fantastic twist at the end!! How on earth do you do that??
Theresa Knight07/02/04
James, this is so good! I'm guilty-I'm after my husband to 'take the garbage out now!' Story well done!