I am not very agile when it comes to finances. Do not get me wrong, I know how to spend money; it is just that I do not know how to save money. Somewhere I lost my little piggy bank.
One of my father's favorite quotes was, "A penny saved is a penny earned." It never made sense to me, but my father knew how to save money. On the other side, he was not very agile when it came to spending money especially on me.
My whole life has never been focused on making money. For me, the outdoor was busier than the indoor with money. I must confess my wife and I have struggled throughout our life on the financial side. On the relational side, we have done wonderfully; at least that is my impression.
I know some marriages seem to be based upon finances, even though they will not admit it. Their finances determine how successful they really are in their mind.
That has not been the case with us. When the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I married almost half a century ago, it had nothing to do with how much money we had. We both were working at the time, and together we could go out for dinner once a month. That seemed to be a very important time even though expensive.
The focus of our life together was not on how much money we can make and save. Our life's focus had to do with our relationship, one with another, and with God. We were a spiritual couple and tried to serve God as faithfully as we could.
The other night the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I enjoyed a quiet evening together drinking coffee and talking about this and that, more about that than this.
Then we started to play her favorite game: Do You Remember?
If statistics are correct, she remembers more than I do.
When she poses a Do You Remember question, I can never remember. Several times, I had some remembrance but never enough to qualify as an answer.
When I pose a Do You Remember question, she remembers it to the very last detail. Details that I do not remember.
I have concluded and do not let this get around, but I think her remembering things is a complete hoax. I think she is making up things that she says she remembers just to trick me. My problem is, I cannot prove it.
Her one trick question is, “Do you remember when we first met?”
I have yet to get this question right. Every time she asked, it is always a different answer. If I challenge the answer, I look bad. Of course, I look bad as it is with questions like this.
When we ran out of energy for this game, we just sat there and watched a little TV.
When the next segment of commercials came, she said something rather curious.
"If we had a nickel," she said, looking at me, "for every mistake you made, we would be millionaires."
Then she continued, “Do you remember the first mistake you ever made?”
Of course, I could think of several mistakes I made, one being getting involved with this kind of a game. However, for the life of me, I could never think of the first mistake I have ever made.
For example, did I make that first mistake before I met her or after I met her?
I was tempted to say that my first mistake was getting involved in silly games like this, but I value my life too much.
This could be a trick. If I mentioned my first mistake, maybe it would be something she did not know before and now she does. How would that work out?
We both laughed and went back to watching TV.
I just could not get away from that question. If I really had a nickel for every mistake I made I am sure I would be a wealthy man. I just wonder how in the world I could collect on something like that.
Then there is the question as to your definition of a mistake. I am sure my definition would be quite different from my wife’s. Everybody has their own definition of these things.
Even thinking about that a little bit, I began remembering some mistakes that cost me money. Things I thought would turn out great only turned out dead in the water.
Perhaps the biggest mistake anybody could make is believing that they do not make mistakes. Sometimes it takes a married person to realize what mistakes really are. And if you think you do not make a mistake, then that is a big mistake, and you will pay dearly for that.
If she had asked me what my first good choice was, I would have told her it was her. My first mistake would have been, not meeting her at all.
I remembered a very important verse of Scripture. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:8-9).
It is not my mistakes but how I deal with them that makes all the difference in the world.