By Dr. James L. Snyder
For a long time, The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage has accused me of talking in my sleep. I never believed her and just thought she was joking. At least, I thought it was a joke.
One time she accused me of that and said, “Why do you talk so much in your sleep at night?”
Thinking this was a platform for jokes, I said, “That’s because, during the day, I don’t have any opportunity to talk.” Then I flashed her one of my signature smiles.
She didn’t throw any smile back but stared at me for a few moments with that stare that went right through my body.
It was about our third Christmas, and as we gathered around the Christmas tree, I handed her a little Christmas box all wrapped up in red paper with a nice little bow on the top.
Looking at me, she smiled and said, “Is this the watch you were talking about in your sleep the other night?”
Quite frankly, I did not know how to respond to that. It was a watch, but I did not know I had been talking about it in my sleep. So there has to be another reason for that!
One morning at breakfast as we were finishing, I said to her, “I’ve been thinking that today….”
She interrupted me and said to me, “I know. You want to go and get that new computer you’ve been talking about in your sleep.”
I have been worrying about what secrets I’m exposing at night while I’m sound asleep.
Then the other day at breakfast time, she looked at me and said, “I think that’s an excellent idea you have.”
Looking at her, I wondered what she was talking about, so I said, “What are you talking about?”
“You know,” she said with a big smile, “that vacation you’re planning for this coming summer. I think it is a wonderful idea.”
To be truthful, I had been thinking about a special vacation this coming summer, but I hadn’t said anything to her about it up to this point. How in the world does she know I’m thinking about this vacation?
Not knowing what to say, I looked at her, “Where did you ever get that idea?”
With one of her chuckles, she said, “You know. That vacation you were talking about in your sleep last night. I agree with everything you said about it.”
I was a little bit off at this point. I was thinking about that vacation, but I had no idea what I said in my sleep last night. I was afraid to ask her about the details of that vacation.
I’m not sure if I need a psychologist or what! How can I keep from talking in my sleep at night? And, what if while I’m sleeping, I’m talking nonsense and get myself into deep trouble with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage? Can I really believe that what I say while I’m sleeping is actually true?
Thinking about this for some time, I devised a little plan. One night I would pretend I was asleep and talk in my sleep, or at least pretend to. It took me a while to come up with some idea, but eventually, I did.
I pretended I was asleep one night, and I began talking around the middle of the night. I said, “I think I’m going to surprise my wife by buying her a brand-new car. After all, she deserves it.”
I thought this might bring some closure to all of these myths about me talking in my sleep.
Finally, I went to sleep and was quite anxious to get up in the morning and hear the response from The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage.
I was surprised when she said nothing about me talking in my sleep last night.
Maybe she fell asleep and didn’t hear me. So, I decided to try it the next night.
That following day there was absolutely nothing she said about me talking in my sleep.
I did this for two more nights in a row, and to my surprise, she never even acknowledged that I talked in my sleep.
I wondered if all of this talking in my sleep was just a fantasy from her point of view. I didn’t know what to do next because nothing I was doing was actually working.
Then I decided to do it one more night.
The following day at breakfast, while we were eating, she stared at me, and I said, “Is something wrong?”
“I don’t think that was very funny.”
“What are you talking about?” I asked her.
“You know what I mean, all that talking about buying me a new car, but I know you were not asleep when you said that. You are just trying to trick me, and I’m not going to have anything to do with that.”
I have learned that it is true only when I’m talking in my sleep. When I talk when I’m awake, it is not true. Oh, for the life of a husband!
Then I was reminded of a verse in the Bible. “For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether” (Psalm 139:4).
I’m comfortable with knowing God hears everything I say. With that I need to discipline my tongue and keep in under control.
Dr. James L. Snyder lives in Ocala, FL with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. Telephone 1-352-216-3025, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, website www.jamessnyderministries.com.
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