After being so long in a lockdown situation, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage planned a short vacation time for us. It took her quite a while to put all of the pieces together, but she succeeded as always.
As I was preparing for this little adventure, my wife looked at me and said, "What are you putting in that bag?"
I looked at her, smiled and said, “I’m putting some projects that I want to catch up on while we’re on vacation.” I then flashed another smile in her direction. “This is going to be wonderful,” I said to her.
She looked at me, both hands on her hips and said, “You are not taking any projects on this trip. The whole plan is for us to do nothing. Do you understand?”
I must say I was not quite prepared for this. When we got away, I thought I could spend time catching up on some projects I was working on. I always have a project in the wind.
“This time,” my wife said rather sternly, “is for us to do nothing and do it together.”
By the tone of her voice, I knew she was quite serious and not joking. Over the years, I have been able to detect this sort of thing. I do not have it all worked out yet, but I am getting there. This tone of her voice I knew quite well.
“Couldn’t I just take one project?” I tried to flash the best smile I had, but to no avail.
“This is a very important time for us to do nothing. And I will make sure that we will do absolutely nothing on this little vacation together.”
This was rather new for me. Although sometimes I do not do very much, I have never gotten to the point where I am actually doing nothing. I am not sure what that feels like.
"You don't need to worry about this." My wife said as she saw me scowling. "I will handle this and help you to do nothing while we are away. When we're done, you'll thank me."
We got to our motel, I checked in, and we settled into our room.
I sat down on a chair in the corner, looked at my wife and cheerfully said, “Well, Honey, what do we do now?”
I was hoping that she had been teasing me all along, and I would be able to do something. After all, in my humble opinion, doing something is a lot better than doing nothing. However, do not quote me on that one.
“We’ll take a little rest here,” she said, “and then we will go out for dinner.”
"Okay," I said, trying to hold back a chuckle, "but isn't that doing something?"
Obviously, she did not get the joke and looked at me with one of "those looks."
So, I thought to myself, this is how it's going to be on our short vacation. I had to think of something without her knowing that I was not doing anything, and catch her off guard.
We went out for dinner just up the street from our motel and enjoyed ourselves tremendously.
When the check came, I looked at my wife and said, "This sure is fun doing nothing."
She looked at me and then looked away, and I knew I had done something contrary to her rules of doing nothing.
I knew I had to get her, and it was not going to be easy.
As we drove around the block to go back to our motel, we passed a thrift store. I looked at my wife, pointed to the thrift store, and said, "Hey, look at that! You want to go into the thrift store?"
Before I could park the car, she was out the door and going into this thrift store. I cherished the moment because it is a rare moment when I get one on her.
When she came out of the thrift store, she had several bags of whatever. I opened the door for her and said rather cheerfully, "How much did that doing nothing cost you?"
"Okay," she said, "I need these items for a project at home, and I really saved a lot of money in that thrift store."
“So,” I said as dramatically as possible, “your doing nothing is different from my doing nothing.”
"I'm sorry," she said very sorrowfully, "I made a mistake, so I will allow you to do one thing. What do you want to do?"
I must admit this caught me off guard. I thought for a moment that I was in control of the situation, and then it backfired on me. I tried to think of one thing to do, and my brain just was not working.
The more I thought about it, the less I knew what I could do. I do not go shopping, so that was out. All of my projects were back home, so that was out of the picture. I could think of nothing to do.
“I can’t think of nothing,” I said to my wife.
“That’s great. Now you’re doing nothing.”
While I was thinking of nothing, I was reminded of Scripture, “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise” (Luke 6:31).
Nothing is not that special but sometimes the right something can be real special.
Contributed by Jeff Strite on Jan 10, 2016
Play God Day is "celebrated" on January 9th and encourages people to do something nice for others. That's good. But "playing God" also has a negative side. What's wrong with "playing God" and how do I recognize if I'm falling into that trap?