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A box of chocolates never misses its mark

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By Rev. James Snyder

I spent a few very profitable hours searching for a special box of Valentine chocolates. After all, that special person in my life deserves all the time I can spare in choosing the right box of chocolate.

I’m not sure who came up with the idea of giving your "sweetheart" a box of chocolates on Valentine’s Day, but I would like to shake his hand sometime. Of all the gizmos, doodads and gimmicks in the wide world, this one tops them all.

It took me a long time to uncover this mystery of romance. As a young husband, I thought chocolate was simply a piece of candy. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine that a piece of chocolate could solve so many problems in life.

I do not claim to understand it now. I do not need to know how in order to use it to my advantage. Therefore, when it comes to a box of Valentine chocolates I do not need to know why it works or how it works – only that it works.

Buying a box of chocolate on Valentine’s Day can cover a multitude of sins and trespasses committed during the past year. And so, my investment in a box of chocolate once a year pays rich and creamy dividends. It is a small price to pay for a year’s worth of faux pas, mistakes and rolled up socks under the bed.

That infamous day when I met, what later became the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage, at a church altar reciting those words "I do," was the beginning of my life. Whoever thought that two words, just three letters, could make such an impact upon a person’s life?

Of course, at the time I was too naïve and inexperienced in women-lore to understand that attached to those two little words, "I do," came the dreaded "honey do list." Only a bride, coached by her mother, understands the import of the whole scenario.

Like every husband-to-be before me, I stood at the altar looking goofy, wearing an insufferable smile thinking all was well with the world. Little did I know that when I said, "I do," it was done. I have learned all the phases; do, did, done. And when I said, "I do," I was done.

I must admit that the first years were quite a learning experience, especially for me. I do not think being a husband is natural. It is something you have learned all by yourself. And, it is nothing that fathers and sons talk about. Father passes on to their sons an appreciation for sports, knowing what team to root for and an appreciation for good hard work and doing your best.

The only thing a father can pass on to his son concerning understanding women is this little bit of wisdom. "Son, nobody has ever figured out women." This may be why God created Adam before he created Eve.

In the first few years of our marriage, I made a dreadfully wrong assumption. I assumed that being married to me was enough. After all, at the wedding altar we took each other for "better or worse." She fulfilled the "better," and I, of course, brought up the "worse." In a marriage, everybody has his or her responsibility and that was mine.

But in that first year of marriage I did something wrong. I cannot remember what it was now; I probably did not know what it was then. That is the way it is with men. They have no idea what is going on around them. But something I did, or maybe it was something I did not do, had created a little bit of tension.

It was close to Valentine’s Day and I happened to be shopping at the supermarket when I spied a very large red heart-shaped box of chocolates. Normally, I would not have given it a second thought because it was quite expensive. It certainly was beyond our modest budget at the time. However, something came over me that I could not quite explain. In a flash of impulse, I put the box of chocolate in my basket, and purchased it.

It was not quite Valentine’s Day, so I hid it and waited for the day to approach.

Finally, the anticipated moment had come and I presented my wife with the biggest box of chocolate she had ever seen. I do not know what happened, even to this day, but that box of chocolate canceled out everything I had done wrong up to that point.

In fact, she still has that Valentine’s box that she uses to hold her jewelry. It is a constant reminder to me that chocolate has a magical quality to it when it comes to women.

I have no idea how chocolate solves problems; I just know that it works. Possibly, one bite of that chocolate immediately goes to the brain, erasing forever whatever her husband did the preceding twelve months. No husband knows how it works, but why fool around with something that does work?

This is precisely the way forgiveness works. I don’t know how it works; I just know it works.

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9 KJV.)

God’s forgiveness never misses its mark, either.

The Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road. He and his wife, Martha, live in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 687-4240, or e-mail jamessnyder2@att.net. The church Web site is www.whatafellowship.com.