“A penny saved is a penny earned.”
Who said that? Was it Will Rogers, Benjamin Franklin or another philosopher of days gone by? Whoever it was, we’ve always liked the idea and agreed with it. Of course, a person could substitute a nickel, a dime, a dollar, a two-dollar bill (if he could find one) or even a $100 bill, and the meaning would be the same, just more important, to
Pennies don’t have much worth these days, according to consensus of most. Just look at how many pennies are always in fruit jar lids at service stations and other businesses. Folks don’t want a penny in their pocket. They’d rather give it to a “good cause;” helping another pay tax on purchases, in order not to break paper money.
Hard to believe, but we’ve even contributed to the “cause” a couple of times; no more often than that. Others’ low opinion of the copper-colored coin was made known to us three decades ago when a co-worker walked out of a café after morning break and threw three pennies into the air across the lawn. “They’re worthless,” he contended.
We swallowed hard in disbelief, and had a guilty twinge, because we didn’t run out on the grass, get on our knees and try to find the wasted money. Throwing away money has to be wrong, but evidently it’s more common than we’d like to think. We often see pennies on the sidewalk and always pick them up.
This is evidently an old story, but it was new to us when we heard it twice in two days. A rich man was walking with friends and stooped over to pick up a penny on the ground, just like this cowboy would do. The wealthy man held the coin in his fist, closed his eyes and smiled looking heavenward, then put the penny in his pocket.
Those with him asked why he’d picked up the penny. He said, “All coins in this country carry the line: ‘In God We Trust.’ Whenever I find a coin, I believe God has started a conversation with me, and I am reminded to put my trust in Him.”
Another who picks up pennies looked at it similarly. “If I trust in God, his name is holy, even on a coin. If God drops a messenger in front of me reminding me to trust Him, who am I to pass it by? I pick the penny up to show that I do trust in Him. I think it is God’s way of talking to me. Lucky for me, God is patient and pennies are plentiful.”
Tales of working for a dollar a day were often told by Dad. Wages were far less in Biblical times as Jesus is quoted in Saint Matthew 20:2: “And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard.”
We must have money, but are reminded in First Timothy 6:10: “For the love of money is the root of all evil.”