Some who know me suggest I might be a wee bit absentminded at times. I prefer to think of it as simply being actively engaged in processing thoughts; giving the tiny gray cells a good workout. My motto: Don’t hate me because I’m thoughtful.
I must admit to a certain aura of preoccupation at times. However, it is not as severe as the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage seems to think. I just have many things on my mind and at times, I am not fully conscious of my immediate surroundings.
I admit it, but I refuse to accept the thought that I am absent-minded. I always know where my mind is and what it is doing.
Of course, I will accede to certain instances where it might appear on the surface to resemble absent-mindedness, but appearances can be deceiving.
Case in point. Several times when my wife sent me to the grocery store around the corner for a few items (which doesn’t happen often, due to what she calls my absentmindedness) I ended up across town not knowing what I was doing there.
I cannot explain this activity, but it is not empirical evidence that I am absent-minded. It’s just one of those things that happens every once in a while to a person like me.
Sometimes I will meet a friend, and he or she asks why I did not wave back the other day when they saw me. Sheepishly, I admit that I did not see them.
It could happen to anybody.
With this in mind, an incident happened last week bearing explanation.
As it happened, my wife was going to accompany our granddaughter on a school field trip. There was one thing needing attention. Someone needed to pick up our grandson from school that afternoon.
That someone turned out to be me.
In preparation for my “assignment,” my wife lectured me on the necessity of picking up our grandson by 2:30 that afternoon. “It is extremely important,” my wife said to me as I gazed out the window, “that he be picked up no later than 2:30.”
Then she added something that terribly insulted me. She said, emphatically, “Do you think you can remember to do it?”
As far back as I can remember, my memory has served me quite well, thank you. I could not believe she could believe I would forget something that important. It just goes to show how little some people know some other people. I’m not mentioning any names.
The morning of the field trip arrived and I was in fairly good spirits, as I recollect. As my wife went out the door, she threw in my general direction the words, “Don’t forget to pick up our grandson at 2:30.”
I just smiled a smile, telling her I was in complete charge of my agenda.
Then it happened.
I went into the bathroom to shave and get ready for the day. The first thing I noticed was a piece of paper taped on my mirror with the words in bold print, “Don’t forget to pick up our grandson at 2:30.” I chuckled as I pulled it off the mirror.
I finished dressing and headed for the kitchen. When I went to pour a cup of coffee there is a piece of paper taped on the coffeepot. “Don’t forget to pick up our grandson at 2:30.”
I opened the refrigerator door to fix my breakfast and taped inside was a piece of paper. “Don’t forget to pick up our grandson at 2:30.”
This was getting to be a little ridiculous. Taped on the television screen was another piece of paper. “Don’t forget to pick up our grandson at 2:30.”
In fact, all over the house were little pieces of paper: “Don’t forget to pick up our grandson at 2:30.”
I could not believe the love of my life did not trust me with this assignment. I will confess to you, my feelings were just a little bit hurt at this lack of confidence.
You think you know somebody and then they treat you like this. To say I was indignant is to grossly underestimate my feelings at the time.
I took it, however, like the man I am and went about my business for the day.
When I came home for lunch I saw the notes again, which refueled my indignancy, but I refused to let that get me down.
I headed back for my office and tucked in the back of my head the 2:30 appointment.
Back in the office, I busied myself with my work for the day. I must say the work was going extremely well. Atypically, the telephone did not ring once. It was absolutely heaven.
I glanced at my watch and noted that it was 2:55 and congratulated myself with a good day’s work. As I looked at my watch, I had the feeling I was overlooking something. I racked my brain, but nothing came.
Then the telephone rang. As it rang, a light- bulb went on in my head. When I picked up the phone my wife was on the other end and simply said, “Don’t forget to pick up our grandson at 2:30” and hung up the phone.
A familiar feeling crept into my mind; my goose was cooked and it was well done.
“Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud. He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he.” (Proverbs 16:18-20 KJV.)
Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, Ocala, FL 34483, where he lives with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. Telephone 1-866-552-2543, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Website is http://www.jamessnyderministries.com.