Several years ago in one of my graduate classes, the professor had us fill out a “getting to know you” sheet. One of the prompts read: “Fondest memories as a child _______.” After a short while, the class shared their results. Approximately 99% of the class shared their fondest memory was taking trips in the car as a family. Of course, we all complained about the lack of quality (or no) AC, annoying siblings, endless hours in the vehicle staring at desolate landscapes, and various unpleasant odors that accompanied the trips. However, despite having no smart phones or tablets, videos, or MP3 players (I’m really dating myself) – we all agreed those were the most cherished parts of growing up. The destinations, of course – but also the journey there: Stopping at hole-in-the-wall cafes/dives, using our creativity to invent games , spotting license plates from other states (still can’t believe we saw Hawaii one time), and praying feverishly that the hotel had anything that resembled a swimming pool.
Fast-forward to the present day. As we occasionally reflect and discuss our favorite memories as a family – the majority of conversations hover around vacations, the experiences we’ve encountered, the “unique” individuals that crossed our paths (usually resulting in deep belly laughter), and the eager anticipation for our next trip.
However, most of these memories come at a price beyond the trip. Confession time (gulp). Like the typical American consumer featured in some statistical chart somewhere – many of our trips have been funded by credit cards. I would love to live on cash only as many books, seminars, and financial experts proclaim. Excuse time: Our vehicles break down, teenagers eat a lot, medical expenses, holidays and birthdays, outdated appliances stop working, one of us always needs some type of new clothing, home repairs, college is on the horizon, did I mention teenagers eat a lot? 🙂 I know, it’s called Life.
Like the majority of families, we try to save. But something seems to always come up that drains the “emergency” fund. I’m reminded of this obscure verse in the book of Haggai: “. . . and he who earns, earns wages to put into a purse with holes.” (Haggai 1: 6b)
So . . . thinking about the quote in the picture and your own experiences – what is your opinion? Is there a way to save for a vacation beyond hopefully receiving a tax refund check? Only go if you have the cash? Charge it now, pay later? What about the opening scenes from the movie Up where Mr. & Mrs Fredricksen never got to take the trip of their dreams because things were always breaking down? Are you willing to work a year or two extra to pay off credit cards? Compare and contrast the two verses below:
“The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is a slave to the lender.” Proverbs 22:7
“Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.” James 4: 14
Final thought: It seems like yesterday we were signing paperwork for day care. Now, we are looking at paperwork for colleges. It goes so fast with the kids – I personally want to experience as much as possible now, even if it means I have to pay for it later 🙂
What say you? Please comment below or on Facebook 🙂