It’s hard being a fool when there’s so much competition

Rev. James L. Snyder - Contributing Columnist

Ever since I was a young lad, I have had a competitive spirit. Being married has accelerated that competitive spirit, sometimes to my personal detriment.

Overall, it has been a rather good run and the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I just celebrated another wedding anniversary. I know who won in this competition, but don’t let her know. I am a gracious winner.

I certainly was not a fool to get married; it turned out to be a rather major win for me. What was on the other side of the matrimonial aisle, I am not quite sure. I have a “don’t ask and she won’t tell” philosophy here.

Every time I get into some kind of “difficulty,” my wife will look at me and say rather stiffly, “Are you acting like a fool?”

After being married for so long, you would think she would get the idea that I am not acting at all. But that does not keep the good wife from saying to me on occasion, “Would you quit fooling around?”

I am not exactly sure what I am supposed to do at that point, I do not want to ask her what she means because I know she would tell me. Do I really want to know? There is something to be said for being in the dark about some things. This is definitely one of them.

Of course, if I knew what she meant by “fooling around,” I could make some adjustments in my personal behavior. As it stands, I am only guessing.

I get into trouble because many times when I am caught red-handed, as they say, I justify what I am doing (big mistake) by telling her, “I was just fooling.”

To which she usually responds, “I know that and I wish you would quit fooling around.”

Then she says something that is rather confusing to me. “You can’t fool me.”

I ponder very enthusiastically the thought, what would it take to fool her? If I could pull off a major “fool you” on my wife it would make my day.

I know my wife is an expert in identifying fools and foolish things for that matter. Every once in a while, I try to find out what her secret is, but, being the fool I am, I never seem to be good enough to fool her.

Just when I think I have accomplished a trophy level of being a fool, my wife steps in and says, “You’re not fooling me in the least.” Then she flashes one of her smiles and goes back to the arduous task of being my wife, which she has done so brilliantly.

I suppose I am a low-level fool in just about every level of my life. There is one level, however, where I am not a fool. I confess to making foolish statements, doing foolish things and just plain acting a fool. But I have discovered an area where I am no longer a fool.

I think David had it right when he said, “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good.” (Psalms 53:1).

Some people deny God until they need help. Then, they call out to God. The wise man does not deny God, but pulls Him into his daily living experience.

Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Silver Springs Shores, FL 34472. He lives with his wife, Martha, in Silver Springs Shores. He can be reached at 352-687-4240 or 1-866-552-2543, via e-mail at or go to

Rev. James L. Snyder

Contributing Columnist