Monday, March 31, 2008

Saying "Wait" -- Hope Chronicles 30

I've always been a bit of a saver. When I was a child, my allowance always went into the pottery type doll bank that sat on my dresser. When I was 10, my parents took us to start savings accounts. As we got older (early high school), my parents started upping the amount of money they gave us. It was agreed upon that that everything (school clothes, Christmas presents, etc) came out of that money. I never asked my my parents for extra. And then I also babysat a ton. Money just seemed to come easy.

Even after college, things have been tight at times, but it has always seemed that there was enough. If I wanted something, I saved here and there for it and got it in a reasonable amount of time. But, money has been extremely tight lately -- we are talking months and months. I thought I had it all figured out.... And I probably made some bad choices.

Last week was a struggle emotionally. There is a certain item I would like to update. I've started stuffing a bit here and there in the envelope and last week went just to look. Bad move! First, the item was more expensive than I had anticipated. Second, it was on sale -- only until Saturday. So, I did the figures in my mind and then on paper and redid them about seven times.

That sounds smart doesn't it? It is unless you base a significant chunk of your figures on "If this happens and I get this many hours . . . or I don't eat . . . ." You get the drift.

But Saturday, I woke up feeling VERY blah. I tried the figures one more time. And I recalled that it was only on sale the rest of the day! And, of course, getting it would make me feel better. (Feelings are the basis of all great financial decisions -- not.)

And since I'm taking Dave Ramsey' Financial Peace class I went to the bank and took out some cash. I drove to the store and parked the car. And just as Dave says, it's hard to part with cash. I sat in the car and counted it. It was all there and I already knew that. But I also knew I would be paying in a significant increase in stress if I used it all. Some of it was legitimately scrimped and saved on fun money but some of it should really go towards bills.

Feeling a bit dejected I drove back to the bank and redeposited what I had taken out and went home and stowed away the savings toward the coveted item . . . . It may not be on sale when I have enough in a few months -- but as the saying goes, at least I won't be "robbing Peter to pay Paul."

Two days later, I feel a little more peaceful about it. I'm so glad it's not on sale anymore!

But it is hard to wait. The world says we need everything now, now, now. It's not just with our finances. Even our food has to be fast. How did we ever manage without microwaves?

Often we fall into the same trap spiritually. We want the growth now or the problem zapped or . . . . But God doesn't often work on our time table. Sometimes He says, "Wait."

Think about Abraham. God told him that he would make him into a great nation and that his descendants would out number the stars. It was a solid and true promise, but there was a long wait involved. In fact, Abraham didn't see it fulfilled until he got to meet God in heaven and watch it unfold from there.

Waiting is hard. But God never promised us a quick, speedy journey. Rather, He promised to be with us along the way. As we wait, we wait with eager expectation with God and that is the basis of our hope.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

WOW. I'm impressed. You actually had the money in your hand, at the store - and you took it back to the bank? YOU GO GIRL!