Dr. James L. Snyder
To say the least, and I usually do, this summer has been quite a journey for the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and myself. I can't remember a summer equal to the one we just went through. The fact that we got through it is amazing.
We have been staying at home more often than usual, but I'm not complaining. What better night than the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and me sharing whatever we are doing?
One night this past week, I turned off the TV; we were getting ready to go to bed when my wife said, "What is that aggravating noise?"
I didn’t know what she was talking about. I asked her to tell me what noise she was referring to.
“Listen,” she whispered, “don’t you hear that noise?”
I must say one of my problems is that although I listen, I most often don't hear. There is supposed to be a connection between listening and hearing, but it doesn't always work with me. I guess I'm wired differently than my wife.
When they say men and women are equal, they obviously have never been married. Both men and women have their eccentricities. Mine is more obvious than my wife's.
A husband soon discovers after his marriage that there is a major difference between him and his bride. It takes him a while to unscramble it and figure out how to deal with it.
As I tried to listen, I couldn't hear what she was hearing. And then I heard it. Somewhere in our living room, a tree frog invited himself to provide us with one of his concerts. There's nothing I like better at night than listening to a tree frog singing its latest song.
“That’s not aggravating noise,” I replied, “that’s a tree frog singing a musical concert for us.”
"It is not music," my wife uttered, "it is aggravating noise, and we need to get rid of it right now."
Now, if anybody knows anything about music, it is my wife. She plays the piano, the organ, the guitar, the flute, and many times she plays me. But that's a different story.
For me, I don't have a musical background. If you ever heard me singing, you would understand.
When I first met my wife, she was singing in a musical group. They did a great job and traveled church to church on weekends. So, she can sing very well.
Never once have I even entertained the idea of her and I singing a duet.
“Where is that aggravating noise coming from?”
I learned that when my wife asks a question to be very careful in my response. I'm not saying that she sets before me trick questions, she does, but I'm not saying that.
She searched all through the living room to find this singing tree frog for the rest of the evening. Never once did the music stop while she was searching. I just sat back and enjoyed the concert.
At one point, she looked at me and said, "Why are you smiling?"
Not realizing I was smiling, I just looked at her and said, "I'm enjoying that wonderful music."
“Well, stop it and help me find where that tree frog is.”
We never did find that tree frog that night. It sang all night long, and when I got up in the morning, it was just finishing its concert.
For the next several nights, that tree frog entertained us with its musical concert. I enjoyed it while my wife despised it.
I guess that’s the difference between people. One person enjoys the music while the other person looks at it as noise. What is the real difference between music and noise?
The only difference is the person listening. Since I do not have any musical credibility, I can listen to a tree frog singing and enjoy it as a beautiful musical concert.
On the other hand, my wife is very musically adept and can tell what is musical and what is simply noise.
A few days later, my wife got up, came into the living room, and asked, "Where is that noise?"
"Oh," I said rather cheerfully, "you mean the musical concert we enjoyed for the last several nights."
She looked at me with one of her looks.
“I think the tree frog has finished its concert and has moved on to its next engagement.”
For a moment, I was a little sorry because I enjoyed all the music from that tree frog. If up to me, and it isn't, I would engage that tree frog for a concert every night.
Last night as we were sitting in the living room, my wife said, “Isn’t that wonderful?”
Not knowing what she meant, I asked her, and she said, "that aggravating noise from the tree frog is gone. I really enjoy the quiet."
For a moment, I wanted to reply, "I really enjoyed the tree frog concert." I knew that would not be the proper thing to say at a time like this. There is a time when you can agree on something. We don't have to agree on everything, but we need to agree on that which is important.
Amos, the Old Testament prophet, said it this way, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3).
Throughout my life, I have discovered that the important thing is not what you disagree about but rather what you agree on, and that brings you together.
Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 352-216-3025 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The church web site is www.whatafellowship.com