Why I am happy to pay my taxes and other mendacities

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Last week I was getting along just fine. Things were being accomplished and I was rather enjoying myself. Dutifully, I was checking off item after item on my “to-do-list.” I love it when a plan comes together. However, at the top of my exuberance, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage stopped me dead in my tracks with a query.

She is quite famous, or is it infamous, for pulling these kinds of things on Yours Truly. She has a question for just about every event. Most of her questions are beyond answering, at least for me.

For instance, when we are traveling, she will wait for the right moment and then put to me this query. “Do you know where you’re going?”

A variety of ways to answer that question immediately suggests itself, not all of which would endear me to her. However, to be honest, and who doesn’t want to be honest these days, the answer to that question is usually a mumbled “No.”

Just as we get into the car and get ready to go, she asks another question. “Do you have everything you need?”

Invariably, I do not, and have to go back into the house and pick up what I left behind. I could do my own Left Behind series.

Then there is the all time favorite question. “Does this dress make me look fat?”

Just between you and me, one of these times, I am going to answer, “No, Honey, it’s not the dress making you look fat.” I am saving that one for a deathbed confession.

However, this past week when I was flying high, she dropped me dead in my tracks with another question. “Have you filed our income tax yet?”

It was at that moment my whole world came crashing down. I had not even given it a first thought, let alone a second thought. Why is it, although income tax filing day comes every year on the same day I always forget? I am getting either senile or moving towards going into politics. I am hoping for the former.

Of all the things I love doing in this world, and there are plenty, paying my income tax each year does not rate number one. Do not get me wrong, I really enjoy shelling out my hard-earned money and sending it to politicians to invest in one of their pork projects.

Every time I have a little extra cash in my pocket, I always wonder what that happy crowd in Washington DC could do with it. Usually I am tempted to send it to them along with a little note that says, “Spend it with my compliments.”

To be quite honest, there are few things I enjoy more than filing my income tax each year.

One would be calling the telephone company to straighten out my telephone bill. This is good for an entire day of delightful conversation with idiots. Every time I think my life cannot get any lower and drabber than it is, I simply pick up the telephone and call customer service at my friendly telephone company. Within three minutes, (after I had been put on hold for 27 minutes) I recognize exactly how wonderful my life truly is.

Probably the most magnificent thing about calling customer service is that you know somebody’s going to get it all screwed up and you will have the pleasure of doing it all over again next week. A wonderful ongoing relationship that is priceless.

Another activity I enjoyed doing more than filing my income tax is spending five whole days in bed with the flu. Nothing could be more delightfully entertaining.

Just think of it, five whole days to luxuriate in your bed and not have to get up and do a thing. Talk about a vacation! What with the sneezing and coughing, and your nose running like the mighty Mississippi, and your head thumping like an African bongo drum, what more could a person ask for?

If somebody calls for you during that time all your wife has to say is, “He’s in bed with the flu.” Everybody understands that. Of course, if she said you are just in bed, people would not accept that and think a little poorly of you.

But if you have diarrhea along with the flu, that is spectacular. Not only do you get to lie in bed, but also you get a little exercise, jumping up and running to the bathroom every 3 1/2 seconds. The side benefit of this is you lose some weight during that week.

One more thing slightly more exciting than filing your income taxes, is poking yourselves in the eye. I must confess this a favorite of mine because every time I do it, I learn new dance steps. Alas, when the swelling dies down I cannot remember those dance steps.

Therefore, paying my income tax each year is included in some of my favorite activities.

Even Jesus got into the discussion of paying taxes. When queried on this subject he replied, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (Mark 12:17).

When I think of all the money wasted in our country, especially by our government, I grieve. Someone once said, “Money in the hands of a fool always goes for foolish things.”

How a person spends his or her money reveals a lot about that person.

Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, PO Box 831313, Ocala, FL 34483. He lives with his wife, Martha, in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 1-866-552-2543 or e-mail jamessnyder2@att.net. His web site is http://www.jamessnyderministries.com.

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