How am I doing in my life? I’d say, ‘Better than I deserve!’

Published 8:40 pm Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Dave Ramsey is a very well-known financial advisor with a radio call-in show. Many times his callers preface their requests for financial advice with a simple, “How are you, Dave?”

I have never heard Dave answer any way other than, “Better than I deserve.”

There is another phrase that you might know that expresses the same thought but in a different way. “There, but for the grace of God, go I.”

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Both of these phrases emphasize the mercy or grace of God Almighty. God’s mercy and grace can be described as His unmerited favor toward someone. So far as I know, there is no rhyme or reason, other than God’s own mind, for His grace or mercy.

My thoughts turn to God’s grace as I ponder our move toward this Sunday when we celebrate those very special people in our lives, our Mothers. When I think about how I “hit the jackpot” with my Momma, I can lay it to no other reasoning other than the grace of God.

After we are born, we can do certain things that will enable us to have more successful and prosperous lives. For instance, we can be responsible in our approaches to school. We have that option. We can get more education and put ourselves in positions for better jobs and more money. That might lead to prosperous lives.

When we get those jobs, we can listen and learn those jobs better. We can set alarm clocks and get to work on time and volunteer to do extra work. In other words, we can work hard and that might lead to advancement.

As we make our money, we can be wise in the use of it. We can live within our means and save for the rainy days. We can plan for the future.

In all of these things I have mentioned, we have some input. As we live responsibly, keep our noses clean, eat well, get plenty of exercise, and all that, we might say that we deserve what we make or the success we have. We have had something to do with it.

In my opinion, God’s grace is always needed and, even in our successes, He has held His wonderful hand above us. But, we also have done our part. In that way, we are deserving people.

When it comes to Mommas and Daddies, though, that is another matter. So far as I know, and correct me if I’m wrong, none of us got to choose our parents. In that way, I can certainly use the Dave Ramsey phrase when it comes to Momma and Daddy.

How did that work out for me? “Better than I deserve.” And when I think of all the people in this world who have not been as blessed as I in the way of parents, I have to say, “There but for the grace of God go I.”

This Sunday is Mother’s Day, and in another month, there will be Father’s Day. I said I “hit the jackpot” with mine. I wouldn’t trade them for all the money that it would take to pay off the national debt! If everyone had been blessed with my set of parents, the world would be a much, much better place.

First of all, everyone would have felt loved. Let me quote the lyrics of an old Frank Sinatra song called “That’s Life.” “I’ve been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet, a pawn and a king. I’ve been up and down and over and out but I know one thing.” My parents allowed me to live life and, through it all, they stood by me and loved me. That’s a lot, but there is more.

I wasn’t just born, I was supported. Food was plentiful and good. The house was warm in the winter and cool in the summer; no thanks to air conditioning, but thanks to God’s breezes. Play was allowed and it was mostly outside. You’d be surprised at the fun that could be had outside in those days.

It wasn’t all fun and games. Great lessons came my way by my Momma and Daddy. They both worked. When they married and had their kids, of which I am only one, they understood that the house in which we lived and food that we would eat, the cars that we would drive and the fun that we would have were not the responsibilities of others. Nobody else had to pay their bills.

They were participators. If I or my siblings were in some kind of activity at school, church, or community, they were there. They were not parents that sent their kids off and left them in the care of others. We were their responsibility.

One more thing. I have mentioned, just briefly, just a few of the blessings that my parents have been. I may write a book some day and I would still not be able to list all that they have meant to me and my brother and sister. We had nothing to do with choosing them.

We also have had nothing to do with their long and healthy lives. Most of the people my age have already lost one or both of their parents. To the glory of God, I still have both of mine and they continue to do all sorts of amazing things.

So when this Sunday comes and it’s a day to remember and honor Mothers and, in a few weeks, there is that day for which we remember and honor Fathers, perhaps someone will ask me the question, “How have you fared when it comes to Daddy and Momma?”

I’ll say with great joy, “Better than I deserved!”