Contributor: James Snyder
In our world today, it is difficult to find anything good, let alone anything good to say about anything or anyone.
One thing I like about the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage is that she can find some good in just about everything. Sometimes it just rubs me the wrong way.
I, on the other hand, have a hard time finding good in anything even though I try so hard. That just demonstrates the difference between us. They say opposites attract, and so we have a very strong attraction here.
For the most part, I go along with her evaluation of “Good” because she has been right more times than wrong. Don’t ask me when she has been wrong, for that would be a very delicate subject and I am not a very delicate person.
One area of life I have a very difficult time finding anything good is politics. I stay completely away from politics as much as possible. Oh yes, there have been those times that I greedily rubbed my hands and wanted to jump into that cesspool. Thankfully, I do have a little bit of common sense still lurking around in my head and refrain.
The question I ponder quite often is, if you put all the politicians together in one room could you find one little gray cell active? Perhaps the cost of being a politician is to give up all those tiny little gray cells that make the rest of us operate in a world of sanity.
I try not to go any further than that, because I cannot trust myself once I get started on the trail. As a young boy, I had a beagle I used to hunt rabbits. You’ve heard of the old rabbit trail. Once “Sparky” got on a rabbit trail he was never going to give up. There were times when I lost him for several hours while he was running that rabbit trail. He did not know how to give up.
I do not want to get involved in that kind of activity. If I do not start it, I do not have the compulsion to end it. It is like me and potato chips. If I eat one chip, I can’t stop until all are gone. If I do not eat one, I do not have any problem.
So, as much as is humanly possible, I stay away from politics.
One evening this past week my wife and I were watching the news and the whole thing was about politics. As for me, when they say Washington is broken, I know they really mean that the politicians are broken. In fact, they are broken beyond repair.
However, as we were watching the news I was getting a little ticked. I was grumbling about everything I was hearing, knowing a politician will say one thing today and the complete opposite tomorrow. That is because there is nothing in their brain cavity to create stability.
For some reason, I started grouching out loud. It is one thing to grouch and not express it out loud. It’s a whole other ball game when I grouch out loud because my wife can hear me. As I was groaning and gritting my teeth my wife said, “You know, you ought to be very grateful about those politicians.”
Oh boy, here we go. I crossed a line somewhere and was not sure how to get back home.
My wife is not afraid to express her opinion about anything. That includes politics and politicians. I was trying to process this idea of being grateful about politicians. I could not come up with one idea that would lead me to a point of being grateful about politicians.
I knew I needed to keep my mouth shut at this point. If I would express any ideas along this line, I know my wife, as usual, would have the last word.
I was okay until this politician said something and all of a sudden, I exploded, “What’s wrong with that idiot? Doesn’t he have any common sense?”
When I finished my rant, I realized I said it out loud. When I say “out loud,” I mean in such a way that the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage could hear what I was saying.
“You ought to be,” my wife said, “very grateful about that politician.”
I did not know what she was talking about and so in violation of my own rules, I said, “What in the world do you mean by that?”
She looked at me and said, “If it weren’t for those crazy politicians I would never know how smart you really are.”
I just stared at her not knowing what in the world to say. She was finding something good in a politician because it made me look good! I must say, I never would have thought of that in a million years.
At that moment, the thought dancing in my very crowded cranium was, my wife was the smartest person I have ever met.
It made me think of what the apostle Paul said. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
Since that episode, I have been looking at politicians a little bit differently. And if ever I have agreed with my wife, it is this time.
Since 1997, Rev. James L. Snyder has written a weekly religion/humor column, “Out To Pastor,” syndicated to over 300 newspapers and many websites. The Rev. Snyder is an award winning author whose writings have appeared in more than eighty periodicals including GUIDEPOSTS. In Pursuit of God: The Life of A. W. Tozer, Snyder’s first book, won the Reader’s Choice Award in 1992 by Christianity Today. Snyder has authored and edited 30 books altogether.
James L. Snyder was given an honorary doctorate degree (Doctor of Letters) by Trinity College in Florida.
His weekly humor column, “Out To Pastor,” is syndicated to more than 325 weekly newspapers.
Through 45 years of ministry, he and his wife Martha have been involved in three church-planting projects prior to their current ministry at the Family of God Fellowship in Ocala, Florida. The Snyders have three children and nine grandchildren and one great-grandson.