Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.
By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
- Genesis 2:1-3
“Mother was wrong.”
- Goldie Hawn, Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In, Season 3, Episode 15
The post will be reasonably short today. I am sort of taking a day off. My wife had someone come to the house yesterday to give her training on how to run a monitor that is on loan to us for the foreseeable future. Suddenly, we had to clean the house – at least a few rooms. We had the house presentable when the in-home physical and occupational therapy people came to visit, but then cardiac rehab at the hospital happened, followed by Christmas. One of the things that my wife does every year is to send her rubber-stamping friend a card featuring rubber stamps, but this year, she got all her gear out of the basement and either did not have time or was not inspired. So, it is all over the floor.
So, the living room and kitchen needed a lot of straightening. I have been doing a few things all along. The Christmas tree is put up, and a few other things have been put up, but when it is still not ‘done’, I have been given credit for doing nothing. Thus, if I were writing this blog yesterday, I would be in the doghouse. So, I am writing this short note a few days in advance.
Note: We have had a reason to spend half the day on the road almost every day for a couple of months due to the cardiac rehab and doctor appointments. This monitor will eliminate one appointment every other week and sometimes more frequent. And when you do cardiac rehab, a nap follows.
So on to the topic. I became a Christian a few weeks before the quoted episode of Laugh-In aired. When I accepted Jesus, I had told my mother about accepting Jesus the night before. She was the first person that I told my testimony. She became angry. I could write pages on the reasons for this, but our relationship had been harmed. We each were civil to one another, but there was added tension. We each felt the other wrong.
I have written about how my mother almost never laughed and when she did it seemed that it hurt her physically, a great deal. Oddly, she loved Laugh-In. She would give a rare smile. You knew when she thought a joke or sketch was funny when my mother would get this odd look on her face like she’d swallowed something sour, and she would say, “Oh, dear.” The look was her trying to not smile or laugh. That meant that she really liked the last joke, but she had to maintain control.
That leads up to the 15th episode of season 3. There is a close-up of Goldie Hawn with the psychedelic backdrop behind her. She is holding a candle, horizontally. Each end of the candle is lit. Goldie is almost cross-eyed in her intense stare. Then Goldie says, “Mother was wrong.” Of course, this refers to the old saying that you cannot burn a candle at both ends. Indeed, wax was dripping onto the set.
With the tension for about six weeks being worse, I fell out of my chair laughing. Tears were rolling down my face. I turned to my mother and it seemed like steam was coming out of her ears. She was so angry that she excused herself and did not watch television for the remainder of the evening. My Dad was off on assignment with his job, and we were alone.
Now nearly fifty years later, my mother’s anger makes sense. She did not want her authority questioned by anyone, especially a ditzy blonde on television. And she did not want me, the guy in the doghouse, to laugh at that particular joke.
And it finally makes sense why I thought that was the best joke ever told on the show, every episode of every season included. I needed that affirmation that my mother’s reaction to my Christian conversion testimony did not change the truth that my date of accepting Jesus was and still is the most important event in my life. My wife knows that. I think my sons do as well.
But, the joke with the candle was just a joke. God rested on the seventh day. We need rest as well. When you have a sinus infection, after your wife is just getting over a sinus, ear, and bronchial infection trifecta, you get tired when you spend a couple of days cleaning the house, doing the heavy lifting of putting things away, washing clothes, vacuuming, etc. Burning the candle at both ends is possible, but the candle runs out of available energy faster, and it makes a mess that someone has to clean. The metaphorical candle burning is also painful. We need our rest. My mother had another saying that contradicted this one about the candle, “There’s no rest for the wicked and the righteous don’t need it.” Okay, mother was not altogether wrong.
By the time you read this, the house will be cleaned, we will have napped, and I will probably be on the computer writing the posts for the weekend. At this point a few days in advance, I have no clue what to write about, but the Holy Spirit will point me in the right direction. Maybe it will come to me when I rest for a little bit.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.