Mallory’s long lost quarter

Published 1:47 pm Friday, July 26, 2019

used to hear older people talking about how time seems to go by quicker as you age, but it sounded like nonsense to me.  That is, until I got a few decades behind me; I now know firsthand how right they were.  And as I am faced with another milestone in my life, I am once again reminded of how time flies.

The milestone?  Mallory, our oldest grandchild, will soon enter an exciting and challenging time of life:  in just a few days she will be sixteen.  That means one of the biggest things on her mind right now is getting her driver’s license so she can hit the road.  I well remember that time in my own life, but I also quickly found out that being out on the road comes with a lot of responsibilities and expenses, and I expect she will also learn that lesson.

Since she is approaching that season of life, it is a good time to recall one of the stories of a much earlier time in her life.  It revolves around someone giving her her very own quarter.  In the mind of a four year old, the dollar amount is immaterial; whether it is penny or a million dollars does not matter.  What matters is that she has her very own money!

As we traveled toward Donalsonville she sat in her seat holding onto her shiny treasure with no cares or concerns interrupting her joy–until she dropped her coin and it started to slide behind the seat.  But there was no need to panic then either, for Gale responded quickly and retrieved it before it vanished into that deep dark cavity underneath the seat where other treasures mysteriously slide out of sight.

Children are sometimes slow to learn that the same action produces the same result.  So as we continued on our journey home, it happened again—the sound of metal striking metal meant that she dropped her very own quarter again.  Except this time it slid out of sight and beyond the reach of the skilled hands of Nana. 

That one quarter, as proud as it made her, could neither make nor break Mallory’s future, but for the moment it was a valued item to her.  But in her carelessness she lost it.  That makes me wonder how well we handle the things that ought to be really valuable to us.  Then thinking a little deeper, I am reminded that the most valuable things in life are not things at all.  We should take time everyday to remember how valuable life is, what a great gift each day is, and how priceless time spent with loved ones is.  As precious as these are, they are quickly sliding away, never to be experienced again.  We had best not be careless toward life, time, and family and friends; instead, we should cherish them dearly.

It is in order for us to make plans in life, but we get ourselves into trouble when we treat each day and its opportunities as though there is an infinite supply of time that can be spent as we choose.  The truth is, we are not promised tomorrow.  James 4:13-14 says, “Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’  Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow.  What is your life?  You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” (New International Version).

Both life and time are precious gifts.  Value them highly and use them wisely.  Be careful that the little, yet powerfully important, moments and opportunities that you have to share with those you love do not slide out of sight and out of reach without you making the most of every one of them.