Dr. James L. Snyder
This past week the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I were having a conversation. Of course, it was more like a monologue, but you know how that works.
We were thinking back over the years of our life together and reminding ourselves of some of the great and wonderful times we have had. The friends we have made. The activities we have enjoyed together. Of course, there were the grandchildren and my wife had a great time talking about the grandchildren and I chuckling along with her.
After a moment of quietness, my wife said rather seriously, “Who is the friend you miss the most?”
Boy, was that a question!
I had to really think about that, then I mention somebody she knew and we moved on to another subject.
However, thinking about that a little bit later I did acknowledge that the friend I missed the most was Tom Foolery. I guess, as you get older you more or less outgrow that friendship. But I certainly do miss him.
Being older now, and supposedly wiser, I am expected to have a certain serious decorum. I am to take everything very seriously and professionally. I suppose I am seriously a professional geezer.
Why is it when you get older people expect different things out of you?
I do have fond memories of my high school years when I was not expected to be serious minded or professional. The great expectation back then was to enjoy yourself and have fun. Do not take life too seriously, was the motto of my younger years.
Now that I am older, I have to take life seriously. Who came up with that rule? I would like to send him to the principal’s office.
Someone once said in my hearing that 60 was the new 40. I do not know what that means, but I like to lean in that direction. Too many people, including my wife, take things way too serious. Where is the fun in that though?
I do remember quite fondly my friend Tom Foolery. We had a lot of fun together and enjoyed each other’s company totally.
I think, even at my age that a little bit of Tom Foolery is not going to hurt me in the least. Of course, my ribs might ache because of all the laughter involved. That it is a small price to pay.
I was thinking about my friend, Tom, when I was at the post office this past week. Every once in a while I have to take a package to the post office to have it mailed.
This day the line was quite long and the service people were working as hard and fast as they could. However, too many people had problems that could not be solved in a moment.
The line got longer and longer, the people inhabiting the line grew a little grouchy and grumpy, and I could hear some of the complaining behind me.
I notice loads of problems in life, but if standing in line for a long period is the worst of my problems, I certainly have a wonderful life. Not everybody goes along with that idea. Especially, the people standing behind me.
Pretty soon, one of the lady managers from the back came out to try to assist in the service. She said, “Is anybody here for pick up?”
I do not offer any logical excuse or explanation for what I said. Just that, the noodle soup upstairs was boiling and my mouth was unlocked at the moment.
I said to the lady, “Are you handling the pickup?”
“Yes I am,” she said very professionally as she walked over towards me.
“Are you available?”
Walking towards me, she said, “Yes.”
Quite seriously, I extended my hand and responded to her, “Where would you like to go?”
She stopped in her tracks and looked at me and immediately behind me the customers began laughing and clapping their hands.
“I gotcha,” I said to the lady who was smiling at me. The crowd continued to laugh and give me thumbs up as she returned to the back part of the office.
Everybody in the crowd was talking cheerfully and laughing and I knew I had done my job.
Tom Foolery and I had made a difference among all those people. Whatever it takes to get people laughing and forgetting about their problems is a good deed.
As I was going out people clapped and one dear old lady said to me with the biggest smile on her face, “I’m available too.” It made the crowd laugh even louder.
I do not want to retire my good friend Tom Foolery because there is too much sadness in the world. People do not know how to laugh anymore and they do not know what a real joke is. All this political nonsense and hatred going on has just about run its course.
What we need is a little bit of laughter today and that is where my friend Tom Foolery and I step in.
Solomon puts this in a very good perspective. “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones” (Proverbs 17:22).
There are too many broken spirits in our world today and too few merry hearts. My commitment is to try to help with the merry heart syndrome along with my good friend Tom Foolery.
Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 352-687-4240 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The church web site is www.whatafellowship.com.
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