By: Dr. James L. Snyder
As far as I’m concerned, summer is the best time of the year. I look forward to it while withstanding the chilly shivers of wintertime and the erratic damp weather of spring. Summer is my time of year!
This is where the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I cross swords.
For some reason she believes summer is the time to catch up on all the work around the house. There is yard work to be done. The garage needs to be cleaned out and reorganized. That is only the start. Thinking about all that stuff makes me tired.
I will not say she is a “workaholic,” at least out loud. Her saying is, “Early to bed and early to rise gives you plenty of time to work.”
My philosophy along this line is, “The harder you work the quicker old age catches up with you.” If that is true, and I am hoping it is, old age will never catch me.
As we begin the first stage of summer, I want to get ready to exercise as much loafing as I possibly can.
Loafing has several stages to it.
The first stage is just doing nothing. I have graduated with high honors at this stage. It took me a lot of hard work to get to this point of mastering the art of doing nothing. And I must say I have mastered it quite well.
My wife wants to convince me that doing yard work is something we can enjoy doing together. I certainly do not enjoy working hard, sweating and getting tired. Those three things do not go very well with my idea of enjoying myself.
She enjoys working, slaving away and sweating. She gets up early, works so hard and needs a shower before breakfast while I am just getting my peepers to unpeep. As long as she has a smile and is enjoying herself, I will never interfere.
What I object to is her assuming that what she enjoys doing is what I enjoy doing.
“Come on and help me in the yard,” she says so cheerfully, “you will enjoy it. It’s a beautiful afternoon.”
My idea of loafing has nothing at all to do with “enjoying work.”
Another stage in this area of loafing is practicing the art of horizontal extension. Here is an area where I excel. Nothing is more enjoyable than sitting on the back porch with my feet stretched out as far as possible, my head and shoulders reclined back and a glass of iced tea in my right hand. That is what loafing is all about.
Between my wife’s working and my loafing this summer is going to be a wonderful time. Both of us are doing what we enjoy doing and hopefully, not getting in each other’s way. I make it a rule not to interfere with her working and I am working on getting her to make a rule not to interfere with my loafing. We are halfway there.
I think David understood my position exactly. “And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest” (Psalm 55:6).
I am poised, and ready to face the summer with all the loafing I can experience.
The Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 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.