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Hope: Pay it Forward

Updated: Jun 10, 2022

After going back to school to get her teaching degree, and making the Dean’s List EVERY semester, Mary Ann went to work for the local school system. Early one morning she received a frantic call from the school administrator. Demanding, not asking, but demanding, that Mary Ann drop whatever she was doing and come to the office immediately.

Arriving at the office a little bit confused, Mary Ann was met by the administrator. Her face was red. Not sunburned red, but red beet red. She was breathing hard. She held some papers in her hands that were visibly shaking.

“Mary Ann. Oh, Mary Ann. We’ll fix this. We’ll fix this.” Unsure what was going on, Mary Ann asked, “Fix what?” The administrator straightened up and said, “Your paycheck of course. Something went wrong. Somewhere the numbers must have been corrupted. We’ll figure that out later. Right now, we’re just going to fix your paycheck. We’re so sorry.”

Sill a bit confused, Mary Ann asked, “What seems to be the problem with my paycheck?” “Oh, Mary Ann. It’s wrong. It’s way too low. There’s not enough take-home pay to live on. We’re sorry. We’re so sorry. We’re going to fix this right away.”

As the light began to dawn in Mary Ann’s mind, she asked to see the paycheck along with the stub. After carefully looking at what the computer had printed, Mary Ann took a deep breath of relief and said, “Oh, don’t worry. This is correct.”

“Correct? How could it correct? There's not enough to live on. Your deductions are way too high. It must be wrong. Someone entered ,something wrong, or there’s a software glitch. We’re going to fix this and fast” declared the administrator.

Asking the administrator to sit down, Mary Ann began to explain. “Chet and I discussed my paycheck with our financial advisor. Together, we came up with a plan to take the maximum retirement deduction allowed by law. In this way, we’re preparing for the future by taking less now. We’re paying it forward toward our retirement. The numbers are correct.”

The shocked administrator looked at Mary Ann with disbelief. “No one, and I mean no one, in the history of this school, or the entire school system has ever done this. How are you going to make ends meet?

“We’re trusting God for today and tomorrow” Mary Ann said calmly. “Chet has a job, and we’ll live within our means. We’ll be fine.”

That was about 20 years ago, and we’re still reaping the rewards of that “pay it forward” strategy. That choice allowed Mary Ann to retire early, giving her precious time and resources to actively help her aging parents. That retirement nest egg continues to pay dividends to this day.

It’s also that way with hope. Hope doesn’t just appear out of the blue like pixie dust. No, hope comes from somewhere. It has a source. And where can we always go to find hope?

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead

1 Peter 1:3, NIV

Hope is always, always, always found in the resurrection of Jesus. He’s the one we can run to when all hell breaks loose. We can turn to him with all our troubles, fears, and anxieties.

The resurrection is our solid source of hope. Is it yours?

NOTE: This blog was first sent on June 9th but is being resent due to a distribution error.

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