The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I arrived home from our vacation late Tuesday afternoon.

I’m not a big one for vacations, but this one was special. Our grandson who lives out in Ohio was graduating from high school.

This is the second of our grandchildren to graduate from high school. I would not say this to everybody but, this year is the 50th anniversary of my graduation from high school. I cannot believe it has been that long. I must have fallen asleep for several years without waking up.

To see a grandson graduate from high school, then look at my graduation picture 50 years ago, I am just amazed. How can he be as old as I was? What he does not understand is that one day he will be as old as I am. I will not be the one to tell him that.

We spent the whole week with the family there that we have not seen for several years. It was such a wonderful time.

My ambitions in life have never included vacations. A vacation is where you go, but don’t do anything. I don’t like that. It is not that I’m a workaholic; I just like to work all the time.

How can I enjoy vacationing when four days out of that week I have to sit in the car driving? It does not sound fair to me.

So many things wrong with that idea that I just do not know where to start. Yet, I do know where to stop. That would be, stop having vacations. That would solve that problem.

I have noticed that whenever you solve one problem another problem that you did not expect pops up.

I made the mistake of expressing my thoughts audibly while the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage was present. I thought I was thinking to myself, but it turned out my lips were moving. Oh, how I hate it when my lips move like that.

“What do you mean,” my wife said rather seriously, “stop having vacations?”

You solve one problem and another problem, were dangerous in the first problem, pops up. How do I answer that question?

After all, my wife lives for vacations. As soon as one vacation is over, she has the next vacation already planned. If it was not for her and her meticulous planning, I would never see a vacation. So, it is to her credit that I actually go on any vacation.

“Stop having vacations,” is something that I have had to retract at least audibly. So I had to explain to her, “My dear, I didn’t say stop having vacations, I meant to say stop hating vacations.” Then I flashed a smile in her direction.

“That is much better,” she said with an infectious giggle. “You know how much I really love these vacations.”

One thing I have learned as a veteran husband is that if you love what your wife loves your life will be wonderful. I do not have to love what she loves, but if I love her, it does not matter what she loves.

Driving back from our vacation, which my wife did all the driving, I said one thing that made the drive worth driving. “Don’t we have wonderful grandchildren?”

She is still smiling over that one.

In the silence of our drive home, I began to think of what our Lord said. “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44).

Love is a very important thing, from Jesus’ perspective. You can tell a lot about a person by what and how they love. I’m going to take Jesus’ advice and just love whatever is in front of me.

James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. Call him at 352-687-4240 or e-mail


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