Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Bible And The Bills

Last week, I lost three very important things:
  • my Bible
  • my March church expense statement
  • my January church expense statement (don't ask)
I looked everywhere; I turned the house upside down. I went through everything in my office three times. No sign of the Bible or the bills.

I assumed the Bible would turn up eventually. It's quite amazing, actually, that my spiritual life isn't hindered by the lack of a tangible Bible - there are tons of online resources like Bible Gateway and Youversion that are at my fingertips. I have a few old, tattered copies of study Bibles at home. But my red Bible is sentimental and personal; it means something to me. It's underlined and dated and I've marked some significant moments in it.

As a brief tangent, I'll reveal that there's a small piece of paper tucked in between the pages of my red Bible, dating back about eight years. It's part of a church program, and on it are written thes words:
"Consider yourself hugged."
Slipped to me during a difficult time in my life, in the middle of a service during which my tears were flowing freely, I keep it to this day. It meant the world at that time. It still does today.

(I believe that my friend who wrote that reads this blog from time to time...wonder if they remember it as clearly as I do?)

Anyway, I've got notes like that tucked in my Bible, along with underlined passages with dates and the initials of the pastors who have revealed truth or insight (JR....BCH...JL...LG...DF...) It means something to me, my history intertwined with the writings of Paul and the words of Jesus and the history of God's people. I missed it.

The bills are another story; suffice it to say that I struggle with deadlines. My monthly efforts to get my work-related finances organized, accounted for and submitted in a timely manner are not always successful. Having just had a roundtable discussion during which we were all rather strongly encouraged to do better in this area, the last thing I wanted to do was to let folks in the financial department know my predicament.

"Uh...hi, it's Beth. You know how we were going to try to do a better job getting our statements in on time? Well....I can't find mine..."

Just slap a sticky note on me that says STUPID.

Late last week, I gave up. I wrote the "I AM STUPID" email confessing my ineptitude, and I took a deep breath in preparation to accept Brian's offer of a new large print Bible to replace my old one (grrr.....muttering and taking GREAT offense under my breath....)

And then, lo and behold, as these things tend to play out, I started finding things. First it was my Bible.

And undoubtedly you're dying to know where I found my Bible, right? Well, I'll tell you: it was in the trunk of the car, in my workout bag. Which I haven't used in...well, long enough to have had no idea that my Bible was in it.

And then, I came into work on Tuesday and found the March financial statement in my mailbox in the office. Hallelujah, praise the Lord, etc! There was much cheering and shouts of "THANK YOU JESUS!" Later, I found out that I not only had Jesus to thank, but also Dennis Green, who admitted to placing the envelope in my box.

"I found it on my desk. I'm not sure how it got there, but I found it. Under some stuff."

(If you saw Dennis' desk, this statement would make perfect sense.)

Still waiting on the January statement, I finally decided to take matters into my own hands. With a willing and very clever accomplice, I snuck into Dennis' office during his absence and flipped through a stack or two of paper.

Voila. All that was lost is now found.

And the point? Well, there is one.

Don't give up. Own up to your mistakes, but be sure that it's not over till the fat lady sings - or till Dennis cleans his office.

God's loyal love couldn't have run out, his merciful love couldn't have dried up. They're created new every morning. How great your faithfulness! I'm sticking with God (I say it over and over). He's all I've got left. - Lamentations 3.22-23 (The Message)


Susan Hughes said...

I was JUST thinking about that verse this morning...but I was not thinking about lost stuff.

Brenda Green said...

The fat lady is going to get tired of singing before Dennis cleans his desk...:)

Anonymous said...

What can I say? I prescribe to the theory that the most brilliant of minds thrive in clutter. That's my story...

Why are your Visa bills in my box anyway?

SAM said...

Beth: thank you for your open honesty - this blog encouraged me as I face my own moments of slapping the sticky note of stupid on my own forehead. Praise God for His faithfulness and Goodness - yes fresh every morning - even when the sun is slow to rise.


WhatAboutNovember said...

Finding lost things. What an appropriate thing to write about in a blog with a name like yours. :)

Love you, and you should consider yourself hugged every day. :)