Quandaries come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors. As someone who is somewhat of a connoisseur in this area, I can readily attest to this. However, many do not realize quandaries come in two categories.
First are those quandaries that come about through no fault of the person in said quandary. For all practical purposes (and those in a quandary are usually not practical), it is impossible to adequately prepare for such an event in life.
Second are self-imposed quandaries. This, unfortunately, is the area where I flounder the most. To be perfectly honest, and I’m not suggesting that I’m perfect; I have created most of the havoc in my life.
Believe me, I would like to put the blame on someone other than myself in many of these situations but, alas, I am to blame. What I am about to relate belongs to the first category.
I found myself in a quandary recently through no fault of mine. And yet, I’m not able to prove it. This is the most discouraging thing. I know it was not my fault, but nobody will believe me.
Through the years, I have adopted a certain nocturnal procedure. When I get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom I keep my eyes closed. There is a very simple reason for this.
One, I know exactly where I am going, so I don’t need to open my eyes.Two, I do not want my body to know that I’m awake. I want to fool my body into believing I’m asleep.
I used to do what everybody else does. Get up, open my eyes and go to the bathroom. However, whenever I did, my body thought I was up for the night and try as I might, I could not convince my body to go back to sleep until I made one trip to the kitchen, and you know what that meant. Exactly . . . the refrigerator.
This kitchen appliance holds no appeal for me, but I do enjoy the contents. Moreover, my body knows this only too well. So, I devised a plan to outwit my body.
Some people would let their body dictate to them, but I am not of that breed.
When I have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, I am careful not to open my eyes. With this strategy, I am able to get up, go to the bathroom and return without my body being aware of what is going on. My plan worked quite well without a quandary in sight for years, until one night recently.
About 2:37 a.m., according to the digital clock by my bedside, the urge to go the bathroom came upon me like a roaring lion. Being careful not to arouse my body, I slunk out of bed, wary to keep both eyes closed.
Everything chugged along quite well and then, all of a sudden there was a resounding “whack,” a flash of blinding light and a twinge that danced from my right eye all the way down to the soles of my feet, only to return.
Quickly following this, a loud squawk emitted from my mouth. All this commotion completely aroused my body to a state of full awakeness. By this time, my body, my wife and I were wide-awake.
As it turned out, someone, and I’m not mentioning any names, left the bathroom door open. It opens into our bedroom and I had run smack, dab into it. The result was a black eye to beat all black eyes.
There are worse things in this world than running into a door — like explaining to your devoted public how you got that black eye.
While my right eye was throbbing, I never gave any thought to how I would explain it. However, it was a quandary and it was not of my doing.
“How did you get that black eye?” A friend asked me the next day.
It was a perfectly innocent question so I cheerfully (if you can be cheerful with a black eye) said, “I ran into a door last night.”
I thought this would be the end of the matter. Boy, was I ever in for a shock.
“Sure, you did,” my friend replied sarcastically. Then he winked. I soon realized I was in for some trouble. You can only do so much to hide a black eye.
Another friend: “What happened to your eye? You talked back to your wife or something?” This is usually followed by that insidious laugh, “Tee, hee, hee.”
Why is it that when a person gets a black eye from running into a door nobody believes him? After all, I’m not in the habit of telling outright lies. I may exaggerate or rearrange the facts, but I never would outright lie about anything. Especially if related to my wife.
While feeling a little blue over my black eye, I discovered something in my Bible. David knew of quandaries and wrote many Psalms celebrating this fact of life.
“Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me” (Psalms 138:7).
It is inevitable that quandaries will come. Some from out of the blue and some of my own creation. The comforting truth is, God will always “revive me” in His own special way.
The Reverend James L. Snyder is an award winning author whose writings have appeared in more than eighty periodicals.