Getting Ahead: ‘Provision by release’


My dad was a boy who was raised in the Depression of the 1930s. His life was molded by those days when most Americans did not have anything extra. Many had to stand in line just to get a bowl of soup to eat. Jobs were scarce as hens’ teeth, so to speak, and everyone was doing whatever it took to survive. My grandfather was one of very fortunate men who had a job in a factory and my grandmother, also very fortunate, was a school teacher.

Even though both my grandparents were working, it was still necessary to be very frugal with their income. Grandpa gave half of what he made to the church to help people who were less fortunate than they were, and in those days a teachers’ salary wasn’t much.

My dad was also very fortunate because he was able to get a paper route. With the money from his paper route dad was able to buy a bicycle to deliver his papers. He was also able to treat himself to an ice cream cone once a week which cost five cents.

You cannot produce anything from nothing. It seems that you have to invest something to produce anything.

If you are a farmer, you must plant the seeds to get a harvest. If you are an inventor, writer, athlete or factory worker you would have to invest your time and effort into your trade to develop results.

Do you think it might be possible that my grandparents both had jobs through the Depression, not because they were very fortunate, but because grandpa gave to help others? Was their provision, through those very hard times, a result of grandpa releasing financial assistance to others?

Could it be that dad had a bicycle, when most adults could not afford one, because grandpa gave away half of his income? How can it be that dad was one of the only children in their neighborhood that was able to buy an ice cream cone every week?

Oh yes I almost forgot; dad, like his father, gave part of his paper route money away each week to help others. Is that the same thing as a farmer releasing his seeds and planting them in the soil to get a harvest?

These and other life questions will be addressed Sunday morning as “The Gathering Place Family” meets in the Washington High School Library for Bible Study at 9:30 and in the gymnasium at 10 a.m. for our Pre-Service Connection where we enjoy coffee, juice and donuts. Our Worship Service and Children’s Church then begins at 10:30. Come at 7 p.m. and be part of our Wednesday night Bible Study and Children’s Ministry on the third floor above Trends at 120 W. Court St. in Washington C.H.

By John G. Pfeifer

Religion Columnist

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