Thursday, January 26, 2017

Prayers and Money

A very wise man, my grandfather, once told me, "A penny saved is a penny earned."  He was obviously expounding Benjamin Franklin. Papa was a frugal man who had come through the depression on the other side of wealth. Once a steel mill executive, he was now a hard working pipe inspector who went to work daily on his split shifts. He was by no means wealthy in the form of money but his advice and parenting were golden.


As small children, Papa would give my brother and I a nickel and then later in life a dime with the same piece of advice which revolved around saving. Every week, I would run around the corner to the local store to buy my nickel or dime's worth of penny candy. I hadn't learned the lesson of saving for a rainy day yet.
That's not to say we didn't have the proverbial piggy bank. Ours were plastic Planter's Peanut Men. Mine was green and my brother's was red. It was stuffed with birthday money and what I thought was a fortune in silver dollars.
As we got older, Papa increased our weekly money to a quarter and I felt like a millionaire as I went down street to the five and dime variety store to spend my fortune. I loved paper dolls and every week I would come home with another booklet of dollies with an assortment of beautiful clothing. My pride and joy was my Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles paper dolls.
Then came the day that I wandered across the street to a new shop. It was called the Swagger Shop and it carried a little more expensive toys and sundries. In the window was a dress making doll. It came with a doll and what I thought were gorgeous dresses and cost a small fortune; almost $10. I lusted for that doll for months and months.
It was about that time that I learned the secret to praying for money. What you really needed you were to ask in Jesus' name. Every night, I would say my night prayers and at the end I would add a prayer for that doll set until I finally forgot all about it and quit asking. A couple of months later came my birthday and in my envelope from Papa was a crisp $10 bill. I had no trouble spending that $10. I all but ran to Swagger Shop to make my purchase. As I said, it had been months since I started praying for that toy. In the end, it gave me less pleasure than I had thought it would and the packaging was very deceptive. There were no clothes with those dolls just the material to make them clothes. Here was another lesson lesson to learn, "All that glitters is not gold."


Papa lived with us a few more years and retired from his mill job at the age of 75. I remember my mother telling us to not ask Papa for money because he was retired and didn't have the money to spend that he used to have.  Papa was the only driver in our little family and when he retired he sold his automobile which cut back on those luxury trips we had learned to love.
By this time, I had learned my lessons that Papa had taught us.  When he left us, I soon began my own earning life.  At the early age of 12, I begged my Dad to let me do dishes at his little diner that he had purchased when Papa passed. I did that until he no longer had the restaurant and I was old enough to get a paying job at the age of 16. Hard work never hurt anyone they say and I started young. I'm well past 65 now and I'm still working rather than rust away. I may not work until I'm 75 but that is my goal.  It is my time to respect what God has given me and spend it wisely on what is needed.
I still ask God for what I think I need and in the name of Jesus for the important life events. What God wills me to have he gives me.  God always answers my prayers, but not always at the time I ask and the answer sometimes is "No" because it's not in my best interest.
The best Prayer by which to live our lives is the Serenity Prayer:

The lesson here is: "Yes, God answers our prayers for money but only to the extent we need it. He also tempers in some of life's lessons to go along with what he provides for us."

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