My Reward I’ll Eat It If I Want To
Dr. James L. Snyder
One day last week, I was up early working in my office as I normally do. I happened to pause what I was doing for a moment and smelled this wonderful aroma.
I know it wasn’t me because I hadn’t taken a shower yet. The aroma was coming from the kitchen area.
I got up from my desk, walked out into the kitchen and the closer I got the stronger that aroma was. It was so wonderful and I just could not get enough of it.
When I got to the kitchen there was The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage baking cookies. Oh, how delicious those cookies smelled.
“What are you doing?” I asked.
“I’m baking cookies for some friends who are having a party tonight. They asked if I could bake them some cookies and I just couldn’t refuse.”
I smiled and just stared at all those cookies in the kitchen. There were molasses and peanut butter cookies, two of my favorites.
As I was looking at them, The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage said to me rather sternly, “These cookies are not for you, they are for my friends. Do not eat them.”
She saw me staring at those cookies and said, “Did you hear me?”
Then she told me that she had to go across town to pick up some things. So, she would be out of the house and I will be with the cookies all by myself. I can’t think of a better scenario.
There’s just no way I can be left alone with all those cookies in the kitchen and not eat some. I think my wife realized that and thought she could negotiate with me and solve the problem at hand.
Looking at me she said, “If you are a good boy today I will allow you to eat one cookie. Just one.”
That brought me to quite a dilemma. What is her definition of “a good boy” and most importantly, how did she define “one cookie?”
I walked back to my office as she prepared to leave for the morning and I got back into the project I was working on. At least I tried to get back into my “saddle” for the morning, but it sure wasn’t working for me.
No matter how hard I tried to concentrate on my project all I could think about was those delicious cookies out in the kitchen which I could smell in my office. I don’t think it’s fair that I should be put in such a situation.
After all, it’s really not my fault. It is the fault of The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage who makes cookies so delicious that I cannot refuse them. If it wasn’t for that, I could ignore those cookies in the kitchen. So whatever happens, it is not my fault! And I am unanimous in that.
I then remembered that she said if I was a good boy I could have one cookie. That thought just ruminated through my mind and I couldn’t handle it any longer and I had to go out into the kitchen and deal with it.
I think I’m a good boy, but that’s only my evaluation. I sat for a moment at my desk and tried to think of anything bad I did that morning and I couldn’t think of one thing. Therefore, with the evidence on the table, I have been a good boy today.
The next thing I had to deal with was the word “one.” What does that word mean?
Looking at the cookies in the kitchen there were only two cookies: one was molasses and the other was peanut butter. So, in my understanding of the situation the word “one” means that I have to choose between the molasses cookie and the peanut butter cookie. That made sense to me.
So, according to my rationality, when I pick “one” cookie I can eat as many of them as I want to. I just can’t eat the other one or I will be eating two cookies.
I can’t tell you how happy I was in coming to this wonderful conclusion. I’m doing two things. I’m doing what my wife said to do and I am only eating one of the cookies. I love it when a plan comes together.
Going to the kitchen I made up my mind that the “one” cookie will be the peanut butter cookie. Oh, how I love her peanut butter cookies.
Picking out five cookies I joyfully skipped back to my office to enjoy these scrumptious treats. I earned these treats and therefore I’m going to eat them with a great deal of satisfaction.
I had finished those cookies and was working at my desk when I heard the front door open and expected it was The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage.
I then heard her voice, “Did you eat all these cookies? When I told you to eat only one?”
Now I have some “splainin” to do.
A Bible verse came to mind that refreshed m concerning rewards. 2 John 1:8, “Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.”
There are times when I convince myself that I deserve a certain reward. All I need to do is twist certain words to my benefit thinking I deserve something when in fact I am not being honest.
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.