If Everything Goes Right Something’s Wrong

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It was a week when everything went just the way I had planned. It is hard to express your feelings when something like this happens because it rarely happens.

The infamous To-Do-List from the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage was completed to her ecstatic satisfaction. That never happens. In fact, I finished it in time to have a little of “Me Time.” I sat on the back porch with a steaming hot cup of coffee and enjoyed an evening with nothing to do. I am not sure how long I sat there, but my coffee was just as hot as it was on my first sip. I do not know how my wife does those things. I have never enjoyed a cup of coffee more.

I had an appointment across town and in traveling across town I never hit one red light. I think that should go into the Guinness book of records. It has never happened to me before and I was reveling in the deepest kind of satisfaction I have ever known. I got to my destination 20 minutes early. I love early.

After paying all my bills for the week and balancing my checkbook, I had $100 left over. What in the world, do you do with $100 left over after paying all your bills? It did not take long to come up with a solution. I decided to take my wife out for supper on Friday night at her favorite restaurant. It was a glorious night on the town and the service at the restaurant was superb. Never have I enjoyed a more wonderful time on the town. The steak was done to a perfect T, just the way I like it. The waitress kept my coffee cup filled to the brim.

All through our meal, neither cell phones rang nor did we receive a text from anybody. Now seriously, how often does that happen? I checked several times to make sure my phone was still on. I sat back and decided to enjoy our anonymity. It is good to just chill together.

As we came near the end of our delectable evening repast, I was about to mention to my wife what a tremendous week we were having and then…

Then, I woke up. It was all just a dream. A good dream, but a dream nevertheless.

Why is it dreams never come true? Why is it that my dream life is so much superior to my actual life? No wonder as a person gets older they want to spend more time sleeping. I think I am just about there.

For a brief moment, I experienced what a perfect week would look like, even if it was just in my dreams.

A perfect week is not when everything goes our way, because, if everything goes right then you know something is wrong. Call it pessimism if you will or maybe just a dash of reality.

It is when things go wrong that I begin to understand what life is all about. I begin to understand that nothing is perfect. And, if nothing is perfect, then neither am I. I like that. The only perfect person at our residence is my wife, and I have her word on that and she never lies to me.

Demanding perfection is a rather foolish thing. If I demand perfection from someone, they in turn are going to demand perfection from me. That is more stress than I care to live with, especially at my age.

After over four decades of marital bliss, I have made an astounding discovery that has made my life so much more pleasurable. It took me a long time to come to this, but I sure am glad I have.

For many years, I was hard on myself trying to be perfect in everything I did. Then, I got married and all of that went away. It was a struggle at first, but I came to one astounding conclusion that has changed my life and brought me to a point of chilling out for the rest of my life.

In our home only one person needs to be perfect. That one person is not me. What a blessing it is to realize that you are not perfect and you do not have to live up to that standard of perfection. I can be goofy, make mistakes and act silly and nobody cares. All those years of trying to be perfect were wasted.

Now I have come to the place where I have acceded to the fact that my wife is perfect. I gladly anoint her as Queen Perfection in our humble Castle. All of the burden now rests upon her. She does not need to worry; I am there to support her in that aura of perfection.

The nice thing about all of this is, she does not need much help from me. It is almost like I am retired for the rest of my life with nothing else to do. The burden of perfection does not rest upon my shoulder.

Oh yes, the checkbook. After looking at it while awake, I discovered I was $100 overdrawn.

Solomon understood this when he wrote, “All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the Lord weigheth the spirits,” (Proverbs 16:2).

Everything does not have to go right for me to rejoice in the goodness of the Lord.

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About James Snyder

The Reverend James L. 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 22 books altogether. He has recently signed a six-book contract with Regal Books based on the preaching ministry of Dr. A. W. Tozer. His weekly humor column, "Out To Pastor," is syndicated to more than 100 weekly newspapers. Through thirty-35 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.
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