Pinch­ing pen­nies in a nickel econ­omy

Record Observer - - Religion -

An in­ci­dent hap­pened this past week that cre­ated for me a cer­tain pause to think about things.

I don’t of­ten think about too many things. Af­ter all, with only one lit­tle gray cell, it is hard to think about things in the plural. “One-thought-at-a-time,” is my life motto. Ex­pe­ri­ence has taught me that too many thoughts at any given time, usu­ally leads to trou­ble with the Gra­cious Mis­tress of the Par­son­age.

I was go­ing to pick up a few items at Publix when it hap­pened. I parked in the park­ing lot as nor­mal, got out of the car and started to­wards the store. Half­way to the store is when it hap­pened.

Even now as I think about it, I’m a lit­tle ex­cited. Be­lieve me; it takes quite a bit to get me ex­cited th­ese days.

Walk­ing to­wards the en­trance to the store, I saw on the ground a penny, which caused me to stop in my tracks.

I do not bend over for any­thing un­less it is im­por­tant th­ese days. My prob­lem is that if I bend over I will have dif­fi­culty in un­bend­ing. It has to be some­thing rather im­por­tant for me to bend down, let alone pick it up.

How­ever, there it was in all of its glory.

I do re­mem­ber one of my fa­vorite quotes from Ben­jamin Franklin, “A penny saved is a penny earned.” He was a wise old man and should know about th­ese things.

I would like to amend that quote by say­ing, “A penny found is a penny earned.” Af­ter all, you can­not leave a penny there on the ground all by it­self.

Some peo­ple would com­plain that a penny is not worth that much. But a penny is worth one cent. And one cent has value, at least in my pocket.

The for­mula goes some­thing like this: 100 pen­nies equals one dol­lar. 100 dol­lars equals a whole heap of money.

As I bent down to pick up this or­phaned penny, I thought of all the other or­phaned pen­nies that I have col­lected through­out my life. I make it a prac­tice to adopt all of th­ese or­phaned pen­nies and keep them safely on my dresser.

The penny that I picked up was a lit­tle cor­roded and dirty, but it had the same value as a bright shiny clean penny. Out­side ap­pear­ances do not fool me. In fact, I will take all the dirty pen­nies you have.

I don’t know if it was my up­bring­ing that caused me to be rather cau­tious with money. Or, if not hav­ing a lot of money through­out life has done the same thing. What I do know is, I am very care­ful when it comes to money.

Don’t get me wrong. Money is not my god. Some peo­ple make a god out of money, which I think is rather silly. Money can­not cre­ate a God, but it is in­ter­est­ing that God can cre­ate money?

As a young boy, my fa­ther taught me this one thing, “Son, if you can’t af­ford some­thing you don’t need it.” I think he was right about 95% of the time. Then there are those times when I re­ally needed some­thing and could not af­ford it.

I have tried to save money. I own a small piggy bank that I put ex­tra cash into it as I find it. I try to hide it from my wife, which is never a good thing. If you have been mar­ried as long as I have, you will con­clude that there is ac­tu­ally no way to hide any­thing from your wife.

I was try­ing to save up a lit­tle cash for spe­cial things that I will leave un­said at this point. When­ever I got a new coin, I would put it in this lit­tle piggy bank I had hid­den in my closet.

I al­most reached my goal when some­thing hap­pened. I went to get some money out of the lit­tle piggy bank only to find it empty. Now what do I do? Do I let some­body in the house know that I’ve had a se­cret stash in my closet? Do I now come out of the closet?

I fig­ured the best pro­to­col would be to say noth­ing and there­fore not get into any trou­ble. Well, you know how that goes.

That even­ing as we were watch­ing a lit­tle TV my wife hap­pened to say, “I hope you don’t mind, but I took some of the money out of your piggy bank in the closet to buy some items.”

Don’t mind? Even if I did mind, I re­ally can’t say any­thing. All I could say was, “That’s okay, I was just sav­ing it for a rainy day.”

“That’s what I thought,” my wife said most thought­fully, “yes­ter­day was a rainy day.”

At least my money was used for some­body’s good pur­pose. The thought that danced around in my head was, how long did she know I had that piggy bank in the closet?

So, the penny that I found in the park­ing lot this week has found a nice res­i­dence in my piggy bank, that is, un­til it rains.

The apos­tle Paul said it best, “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some cov­eted af­ter, they have erred from the faith, and pierced them­selves through with many sor­rows” (1 Ti­mothy 6:10).

Money cer­tainly has its place, but not in the first place where God be­longs.

Dr. James L. Sny­der is pas­tor of the Fam­ily of God Fel­low­ship Ocala, FL where he lives with the Gra­cious Mis­tress of the Par­son­age. Call him at 1-866-552-2543 or email jamess­ny­ His web site is www.jamess­ny­der­min­

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