Saturday, April 23, 2011

Financial self-sufficiency?

A thousand dollars is a lot of money. Somehow, someway God paid for my school this year, so generously that I somehow had a thousand dollars left over. Relieved, I put it away in my savings account as a buffer against my living-paycheck-to-paycheck habit and to face the tuition hike coming next semester.

And suddenly there were a billion things vying to spend that thousand dollars.

I signed for a missions trip to Dearborn, Michigan with my church. It seems like kind of a random place to go until you find out that it's home to the largest population of Yemeni people outside of Yemen. So that's what we'll be doing, telling Muslims about Isa, and I'm a little afraid and a little excited. Unfortunately, it's easily the priciest trip I've ever been on, clocking in at $1300. And ironically, because of this trip, I'll be missing two weeks of work and the wages that could have helped to pay off the trip. I haven't the foggiest idea how I'm going to pay for it.

I woke up this morning, saw the rain, threw on my flip-flops. My second pair of Chucks are really worn out, and in the face of this justification I began to assess the possibilities. As I went through my morning routine I considered heading out to Urban Outfitters or Bob's to spring for a new pair of shoes. TOMS, Sperry's, or running shoes? I have the luxury of being able to consider it.

So then I head out to take my car into the shop for an oil change and to determine the mysterious bumping noise it's been making for a few months. And as usually happens when you take a used car in for repairs, I'm looking at a laundry list. The most pressing repair is replacing the exhaust pipe, it's going to cost me $700. I'm giving the contents of my savings account a tender farewell. And there goes my new shoes daydream with it. It's so easy to spend a thousand dollars! It's not as much money as I thought it was.

How am I going to pay for school next semester? Books and housing? Gasoline? More car repairs and the cost for the Dearborn trip? I don't know.

This is where I pull the Otto Koning. "God, this is your problem! Don't forget to take care of your problem!" I know so little about having to trust God to provide in this way, but I'm grateful to begin learning.

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