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  • Writer's pictureRev. James L. Snyder

Perspective/Pastor’s Corner

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After my heart attack, The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage enacted a dietary regimen in accordance with improving my health.

The theme of this dietary regimen is vegetables, vegetables, vegetables. I did not know there were so many vegetables in the entire world. Her primary vegetable, much to my disdain, is broccoli.

Even though she is quite persuasive and persistent I have refused to eat any broccoli. If there is broccoli on my dish for lunch or supper I refuse to eat anything on that dish.

My dietary regime is quite strict, and there are more things I can’t eat than I can eat. I have, however, suffered through this dietary persecution for the last several years.

One thing I am not permitted to do is go to a fast food restaurant. Particularly, I am not to have any cheeseburgers of any sort. That has been rather hard for me because the cheeseburger is one of my favorite foods. I’m expecting to have cheeseburgers in heaven when I get there.

I’m trying to keep up with her schedule; at least I’ve survived so far.

The other week something happened that changed my attitude along this line. The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage had several lunchtime appointments with her friends. It’s one of those girl’s times out in which I’m not involved.

I love it when an opportunity comes together.

There were about three days she would not be home for lunch. At the beginning of the week, she said, “I’m going to be away most of the time for lunch this week. Can you get your own lunch?”

It caught me by surprise, and I was slow in responding. After clearing my throat, I said, “Oh, yes, my dear, I can take care of my lunch. Go and have fun with your girlfriends.”

After hearing that, my head was abuzz with all kinds of thoughts about lunchtime specials.

The one thing I could not get out of my thinking was those delicious Whoppers at Burger King.

I’m not sure why that was on my mind, but it was, and I couldn’t get rid of it.

Some of my best times have been at that restaurant munching on their delicious Whoppers.

When I’m eating it I have peace of mind.

Of all the fast food restaurants in my town, why was I thinking of Burger King and their Whoppers? This is the one thing violently rejected on my dietary regime.

I’m not sure how it got into my head, but I could not get it out of my head. All I could think of was how delicious it would be to nibble on one of those delicious burgers. And then beside it would be French fries. Oh, what a wonderful thought. And then, to wash everything down was a large Pepsi. My heart is beating.

I had to be very careful because I have learned over the years that The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage can read my mind. How she does it, I don’t know. But I have been caught in many a scheme because of this skill.

If she knew what I was thinking then, boy, would I be in trouble.

In order to camouflage these thoughts, I began to whistle whenever she was around. When I was a young kid, whistling was one of my favorite hobbies. Therefore, whenever she came in view, I began whistling, and it didn’t matter what I was whistling as long as I was whistling.

My plan was to ask her each morning as cautiously as possible if this was the day. On

Tuesday morning, with subdued enthusiasm, I said, “So, you will be going to lunch today with your friends.”

Then something happened I wasn’t prepared for. She said, “No, we had to change our plans, and we won’t be able to go to lunch until Wednesday.”

I cannot tell you how much that discouraged my heart because I had been looking forward to having a big Whopper with all the accouterments. I tried to bounce a cheerful demeanor so she would not have any suspicions about me. I’ll need to wait another day before indulging in my dietary pleasure.

Looking at me, she said, “That doesn’t spoil your plans for the day, does it?”

Faking a smile, I told her that everything was okay.

I still could not get that Whopper out of my mind. I’m not sure what I will do if she doesn’t have a lunch date very soon.

Wednesday came and the same message was given. The lunch date for today was canceled until Friday.

How I will last until Friday is beyond any expectations I might have. I have never been haunted by such a dietary preference in all my life.

Friday finally came, and as I was sitting at the fast food restaurant nibbling on my delicious Whopper, I could never be happier. I guess it pays to be patient, and I’m going to enjoy myself.

My biggest challenge is not allowing her to find out my dietary plans for the day.

As I was nibbling my whopper I was reminded of a verse of Scripture. “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.” (James 1:2-3).

The development of patience in my life is one of the greatest challenges that I face, but the reward is heavenly.

Dr. James L. Snyder

Ocala, Fla.

Dr. James L. Snyder lives in Ocala, Fla. with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. Reach Snyder at(352-216-3025) or Visit his website


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