I was tootling along one day last week, quite focused on getting my business for the day done. In fact, I was feeling good about the progress I was making with my “to-do list.” Nothing is more satisfying to me than the sense of being in control of my schedule. I love checking off items on my “to-do list.”
As the scheme of things usually develops with me, this euphoric situation was not long-lived. It was left to the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage to bring a sense of reality into my life.
“Haven’t you forgotten something?” She asked me.
This question drove me back to my daily planner. Frantically, I searched my schedule to see what appointment I had missed or what project I had overlooked this time. With all due respect to her, I could not find anywhere in my schedule, or on my calendar, where I had missed anything.
“No,” I cautiously said to her. “I seem to have covered everything.” With that, I flashed a confident smile in her direction.
She caught that smile and returned a menacing glance in my immediate direction. I caught her drift, which clearly undermined my previous confidence in my schedule.
“Don’t you recall,” my wife almost sneered, “your New Year’s resolution?”
This sent me into a mild panic. New Year’s resolutions, as everybody except my wife knows, are not to be taken seriously. People make such resolutions only because it’s the thing to do at the time. What a person says on New Year’s Eve should have no bearing whatsoever with the coming New Year.
Looking at her with all the seriousness I could muster at the time I said, “I really don’t know what you mean.”
At the time, I thought she mistook my seriousness for what she likes to call “my flippancy.”
“I think you know exactly what I mean,” she demanded.
Seeing the blank expression on my face, or more blank than usual, she began to realize I had no idea what she was talking about. Placing both hands on her hips, which is a warning sign to me of something ominous to follow, she stated her case.
“One of your New Year’s resolutions was to take a day off each week. When was the last time you took a day off?” She demanded.
Then it all started coming back to me. I did remember such a resolution. But if I recall it accurately, someone, I’ll mention no names, backed me into a corner forcing me into such a resolution.
At the time, the resolution was not the result of any serious contemplation on my part. I thought I was just placating her at the time. I never imagined months later she would be calling me on the carpet for it.
“Well,” I stammered, “there was that week in February when I took several days off.” Then my smile returned to me along with a little bit of confidence.
“You don’t mean those days you were sick in bed with a cold, do you? Tell me you’re not including those in the category of days off?”
My smile along with my confidence deserted me.
No matter what anybody says, I do sometimes think of taking a day off. And people should get credit for some of their intentions.
If, for example, I can’t actually take a day off, it should be enough to think about doing it. The only problem with this pitch is, my wife doesn’t buy it. Believe me, if she was buying, I would give a good discount to her.
“Okay,” I conceded. “I’ll take a day off next week.” I thought that would settle it and with any good luck by next week she will have forgotten this conversation.
This just points out one of the major differences between husbands and wives. When it comes to conversations, wives have total recall of every conversation they have ever had.
Of course, I don’t know if my wife has total recall on our conversations. There have been times when I thought she was making up what I said 13 years ago. I just had no way to prove it.
“Why not take a day off this week?” she queried.
“Let me think about it,” I tried stalling her, “and I’ll get back with you on the day.”
“How about tomorrow? It’s a day,” she replied.
Well, she had me there. Tomorrow was a day this week. My problem is I don’t like to make snap judgments on things affecting my schedule.
Looking back on the conversation, I can see my mistake. I hesitated. In my many years as a husband, I have noted whenever I hesitated, my wife assumed it was a sign of agreeing with her proposal.
“It’s settled then,” she said. “Tomorrow you will be taking the day off.”
This was an invitation I could not refuse. I love it when a plan comes together and I felt compelled to go along with the plan.
The Bible offers a wonderful invitation. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30.)
My advice is to take God up on his marvelous offer, today, not tomorrow.