Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The penny hunter...

is on the prowl.  His eyes rove to and fro from the ground behind to the ground ahead.  He is searching for the elusive but precious, penny.

His real identity is the Chairman, also known as my youngest son.  He has an innate ability to discover a penny everywhere we go.  No groans issue from him when the weekly shopping trip is mentioned because to him the Super Wal-Mart is just one, vast, penny harvesting playground. Thank you, shoppers.

I know that many children delight in finding pennies.  In fact, I've been among the group (when pennies weren't part of frugality) of dropping change and blithely saying, "Oh, let it make some child happy."  Little did I know then that one day, mine would be the happy one.

However, this wee penny hunter is particularly obsessive about his search because he is also a great debtor--to his dad.  A recent trip to a very large local sporting goods store (when Mom was not there in supervisory context) yielded the purchase of a TEN. DOLLAR. CAP.  My husband, ever the homeschooling dad, saw the event as an economics lesson.  I admit that I had my doubts.

Onto the refrigerator went the little white note, "Chairman owes Daddy $10.00."  Every time he earns a dollar, he's allowed to mark off the amount and write in the new amount. He earns most of his money by performing payable chores around the house.  Yet, the child is convinced that his daily searching for a penny will also help to pay off his debt.  Neither of us have explained to him exactly how many pennies, at one a day and how many days it would take for him to pay off his debt. 

The Chairman's attitude is, "I'm a penny hunter.  I keep my eyes to the ground."

Then I thought, what if God has on His refrigerator a big, even massively large white note that says, "Elle owes God $$$$$ to the nth degree, Pi and infinity interest included."  How could I ever repay Him for all that He has done for me?  Good news--I absolutely can't.  Great news--He absolutely doesn't require it.  Awesome news--His gift of faith to me, to receive His gracious act of electing me to salvation, because of His gift of His Son to die an atoning death for me, in the display of His continual gifts of grace to me, are all gifts of His covenantal character to me.

"Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?"  Romans 11:35

I can't give God anything in the form of repayment for His actions to me, and He certainly owes me nothing.  I can't earn my salvation by works or good behavior or outward appearance of holiness or even by the sheer strength of personal will. 

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast."  Ephesians 2:8-9

But God does, in His kindness and mercy to me, allow me to exercise my free will to give my body and my life as a living sacrifice to His good, pleasing and perfect will. (Rom 12:1-2)

My young son's attitude towards finding pennies has served a plate of heaping, fresh conviction to my heart.  I desire to be as absolutely thrilled in my service to God as he is when he finds a penny.  I desire to be as beside myself excited to see another grasp truth as he is when he marks off another dollar paid.  I desire to wear the fullness of delight from gratitude for Who God is as he does when he wears that cap ALL.THE.TIME.

I want to be a penny hunter too.  I want to keep my eyes on HIM.


  1. That's my desire too, to keep my eyes on HIM. It's so easy to get up with other things, but I see more every day that our chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.

    Your son would like it around our house, lol......we find pennies lying around quite a bit.

  2. What a great illustration. I'll never look at found pennies the same way again.

  3. "I desire to be as absolutely thrilled in my service to God as he is when he finds a penny."

    The seemingly ordinary, the common and the mundane can become a delight when offered in service to our King!

    Great thoughts, Elle!

  4. "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast." Ephesians 2:8-9

    What many people fail to see is that anything that comes from you is a work. Period. If we see that "all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags," and that even our faith is not of ourselves, it is the gift of God, then we realize that we are completely and utterly unable to save ourselves.

    What a blessing to be given the gifts of faith and God's mercy towards us!