The parson was selecting some choice meats for the week's groceries. As was his custom he scoured the meats first, looking for values. Once the values were chosen he headed to the produce section where he'd round out his menu planning for the week. Produce was the challenge for the parson. Choice meats could be sliced up and frozen for several day's consumption. Fresh vegetables usually had to be purchased in quantities that did not lend themselves to freshness at week's end. It was the challenge for a widower living alone.
The parson had made his selections, had wandered up and down the aisles selecting the items needed to round out his week's menu, and was now browsing the beverage section in search of some Alice White Australian and Robertson South African wines. As he puzzled for another time over the reasoning behind the store's place of the various wines on the shelves, he heard a voice.
“Parson, what are you doing on this aisle?”
The parson turned to see Freddie Chambers, pastor of the Gird Thy Loins From Sin Lest You Fail to Obtain Celestial Glory Church of the Blessed Redeemed, looking at him with a puzzled look on his face.
“Ah, Freddie, I'm on this aisle because I'm looking for a nice red wine to compliment the pasta with asparagus sauce I'm planning to cook tonight.”
“You drink, Parson?” asked Freddie.
“Sometimes I do,” the parson replied. “Sometimes I use a funnel.”
Immediately the parson realized Freddie didn't get the joke. He decided to drop it but was now conflicted as to whether to direct his full attention to Freddie or to continue looking for the distinctive Alice White label. Freddie helped guide him out of his dilemma.
“Parson, you fascinate me. You know, here you are on the wine aisle of the church, and I know that a couple of days ago you were at one of the Rome Braves game. My nephew said he saw you there. I read your column in the newspaper and you mentioned that you spent time hiking at Cloudland Canyon State Park. I also know you're taking time off to go to Alaska. I don't understand how you can spend so much time in secular activities and still preach the gospel every Sunday.
The parson hesitated in his answer, not because he was at a loss for an answer but because his eyes had just zeroed in on the distinctive teardrop bottle of a Robertson wine.
“It's called preaching from life's experiences, Freddie.”
“Well, I prefer to spend my time in communion with the Lord in my study each day,” said Freddie.
“You're much more lucky than I,” the parson responded. “God seems to have chosen not to inhabit in my study.”