Every Little Penny

Sometimes money just pops up and falls into your lap, other times you have to find it. Yesterday as I took the light rail to work I put in my $4 in the ticket machine for a round trip that usually costs $3.20; therefore, my change would be 80 cents (I know this isn’t difficult math), but what I found in the bottom of the ticket returner was an extra 50 cents. Now, there had been a lady in front of me and I asked her if she had gotten her change, and she said she had so I pocketed my findings. (And with Father White’s words ringing in my head I gave some of my findings to God as a thanks for the spare change).
So I hop on the light rail get off at my stop and as I’m walking to work a woman scurrying to catch her train spills change on the ground, she picks up the quarters, nickels and dimes but leaves the pennies and there were a bunch of them. I felt bad for the pennies, because in a way a penny can be useless, I didn’t even bend over to pick up the 10 or so pennies on the ground; yet, I would have probably stopped to pick up a dime. But in my defense there is nothing you can buy with a penny; but, if you save enough of them then they are pretty useful.
We sometimes worry about the big amounts, the $20, the $50, the $100 bills, but when it comes to the smaller denominations I don’t know if we think twice…what’s a dollar? What’s 50 cents? Jesus tells us in Luke 16:10 “Whoever can be trusted with very little can be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” I’ve started rolling the change in my change jar, it’s not amounting to much, but I guess the money in that jar is pretty useless if it’s not gaining any interest like it would in a bank. When it comes to budgeting it’s not just about the big bills, the big expenditures, it’s about utilizing and managing every last cent. That’s why we tell the students, even if they don’t have a job or receive an allowance every little bit of change that they come across needs to be used wisely. We want them to acknowledge the pennies now when they don’t have a lot of money, because they’ll build a habit to track everything whether they have a great wealth or not.

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  • Chris,
    I have been living off of cash for a long time (for my age). Sometimes it is really hard when there is something that you want but you have to wait to get it or you won’t get groceries that night, But it is so liberating to not have any debt for silly things that you can obviously live without. It makes me laugh because the more aware I am of my money the more I realize that God really does call us to lives of patient and happy self-denial.
    I love reading your blog. It is so interesting to pick up on a trend and see how your thinking is evolving, all the while you are keeping God the center.

    I’d like to invite you to contribute to the resource library that my ministry is creating for youth pastors (www.calledtoyouthminsitry.com. We are trying to get a good base of information available from youth pastors to share with others in student ministry so that we can encourage and build each other up. If you are interested we would love to hear from you and publish your work on our site.
    Thank you for your ministry and for your blogging.
    Keep up the writing!
    God bless,