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Looking for $20 in all the wrong pockets

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By Rev. James Snyder

An incident happened this past week in which I am still scratching my head. Have you ever known you had something but for the life of you could not find it? I will accede to the fact that occasionally, I do have a streak of absentmindedness running through me. At times, I wish it would just walk.

I was fairly certain I had an extra $20 in one of my pants’ pockets. It was what I affectionately refer to as my "mad money." My wife would be mad if she knew I had it. I do not remember where it came from but my real problem was, I could not find those pants.

Usually, if I find money in my pants pocket there is only one explanation. I’m wearing somebody’s pants. The truth is, my pants rarely see any extra money. If there is not on occasion when I do have money in my pocket, my pants get all excited and wrinkly.

But this was different. I distinctly remember putting a $20 bill in one of my pants’ pockets and thinking what I could do with it. But now I cannot find it. I knew I had an extra $20. I distinctly remember putting it somewhere. I looked everywhere ... maybe I should have looked somewhere.

With the aimless look on my face, more aimless than normal, I wandered the house in search of the missing $20. I tried to act inconspicuous, so the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage would not discover what I was doing.

Obviously, no Emmy award will come my way because my acting inconspicuous was a complete failure.

"What are you looking for?" my wife queried.

"Nothing," I stammered.

"When you find it let me know. I really don’t know what nothing looks like."

Ha. Ha. Ha. Sometimes she thinks she is a comedian. But I was not laughing. If I find that money, the joke will be on her. Then we will see who is laughing.

I had two fears facing me at this point. First, she could have found the money and was waiting for me to admit that I actually had some extra. This would invite a great deal of grief on top of my balding head.

Secondly, as I told her I was looking for money she would want to know where I got extra money. If I cannot remember where the money is, how in the world am I going to remember where it came from?

And then, she would want to know how much more money I had misplaced somewhere in the house. Actually, I want to know that myself.

Such interrogation from her borders on waterboarding. If the FBI wants to learn a thing or two about torturing people, they could learn an awful lot from her. She can torture a person and not lay a glove on them. Of course it is not her glove I am worried about, it is her evil eye that goes through a person, me in particular, like a laser beam.

My wife always knows when I’m lying. My lips are moving.

Getting back to the missing $20. I could offer to split it with her if she would help me find it, which would leave me with $10. Ten bucks in the hand is worth more than $20 that I do not know where it is.

Then, I would have to explain what I needed $10 for. Christmas is over and her birthday and our anniversary is a long way off, so I cannot tell her I want to buy her a present.

I did have plans for that $20. But now I cannot remember what those plans were. Maybe, if I knew what I plan to do with the $20 I might remember what I did with the $20.

While I was musing this situation, I discovered a correlation between money and love. Without love, you end up with a broken heart. Without money, you just end up broke.

Then out of nowhere, and I mean nowhere, an idea entered my head. I remembered wearing my brown suit when I got $20. I went to my closet but the suit was not there.

"Have you seen my brown suit?" I asked my wife.

"Yes," she said rather absentmindedly, "I sent it to the dry cleaner. Why do you ask?"

Then, with a little smirk dancing on her face, she asked, "You weren’t looking for $20, were you?"

The only thing I hope is that I do not remember where the $20 came from or what I planned to do with it. I guess a freshly dry cleaned suit is worth $20.

Seeking that money reminded me of a verse of scripture. "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." (Matthew 6:33-34 KJV.)

Then another verse: "Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:" (Isaiah 55:6 KJV.)

No matter how hard you search for something, if it is not there you will never find it. But with God it is a different story. When we truly seek him, we always find him.

The Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road. He and his wife, Martha, live in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 687-4240, or e-mail jamessnyder2@att.net. The church Web site is www.whatafellowship.com.