I paid the credit card bill yesterday, which was a delightful experience.
I just love paying for things I’ve already forgotten I’ve purchased, don’t you?
Apparently I bought a book from Amazon that took us ten minutes of hard thinking to remember (a gift for my sister) and we went up north for our anniversary (ooh-la-la) and someone in this house (who shall remain nameless) has developed a little relationship with the vending machine at work.
Excuse me, but how do vending machines even take credit cards? How is this possible? Who decided it would be worth the effort to put in a swiper thing and a computer thing and then make it communicate with the credit card companies? I don’t understand how this black magic is occurring all over the western world.
(Side note: the nameless person would like it known that the purchases are not just for candy, and that he/she also shares the candy/not-candy with coworkers. Just so we’re all clear.)
Anyway, we bought some things and it was all very fun, and then we paid for the things and it was less fun. Dave Ramsey would still be grumpy at us because we’re using the credit card at all, but at least we learned from his
rantings lectures and we pay off the balance every month. We use the credit card like fire– very carefully, and for very specific purposes. It’s a tool and we don’t take the danger lightly.
But even careful campers can lose track of a spark and set the whole dad-gum forest on fire. We’re still sitting on a powder keg of $13,000 of credit, and the bank is just hoping we’ll lose our minds and actually go buy diamond earrings while on vacation in the south of France. I can hear the forest burning from here.
Lucky for us, the thought of getting the credit card bill after we return from France sobers me right up. Suddenly a pair of $5 earrings purchased right here in Kalamazoo with money I’ve scrounged from the couch looks very appealing. I have no desire to destroy our lives with dumb debt.
However, if I look a little deeper, I’ve got another problem with that credit card. It buys me security. It provides for my needs, you know, just in case God forgets about me. What can really go wrong when I have that magic card in my wallet?
If the car breaks down, I magically have the money the mechanic needs. At the grocery store I can suddenly buy the fancy ice cream and the brand name cereal and the toilet paper made by fuzzy bears. My kids can grow like weeds into new clothing and I don’t even notice over the sound of my card swooshing through the register.
But what if I’m missing out on a chance to trust God with our needs? What if I’m insulating myself against all discomfort and want by using that card and short-changing God’s ability to provide for us? Even if I don’t use it, it still sits in my wallet and promises to take care of me when the unexpected happens, and I don’t think I should be as comfortable with this provision as I am.
Do I trust my credit card, or do I trust my Heavenly Father?
What about you? Do you have a credit card, and how do you use it?