Life Refund

A man on vacation was strolling along outside his hotel in Acapulco, enjoying the sunny Mexican weather. Suddenly, he was attracted by the screams of a woman kneeling in front of a child.

The man knew enough Spanish

to determine that the child had swallowed a coin. Seizing the child by the heels, the man held him up, gave him a few shakes and an American quarter dropped to the sidewalk.

“Oh, thank you sir!” cried the woman. “You seemed to know just how to get it out of him. Are you a doctor?”

“No, ma’am,” replied the man. “I’m with the United States Internal Revenue Service.”

Well, like many of us I’m still waiting for my tax refund. Technically, we’ve already spent it in our plans but we’re just waiting for the formality of the check. I paid an amount of my annual income and I hoped that I would get a refund. That seems so odd. I pay more in taxes and accept that as part of life but get all excited about a refund that is much less, than I originally paid. The value of it seems higher. I guess it is a hope to get something back when it is not expected. 

I’ve gotten so much back from life than I expected. Yes, life will get what it is owed. At times, it seemed such a high cost I was expected to pay, but in the end, it was worth it. My refund is felt daily. In a sense, I am getting back far more from what I paid. My hopes and dreams are being met. I have the memories of not just the hard times paid, but the unexpected joy and satisfaction of a job well done to my abilities. I see a picture or a seemingly insignificant plaque, but it brings back a rich time. I just received a dividend to life.

Each memory and kind word given to me in gratitude is the refund unexpected, hoped for and invaluable. I bow my head to my Creator and lift up thanks for the opportunity to serve and contribute. The big refund will be later when the Master says, “Well done.”

By Retired Chaplain (Brig. Gen.) Ray Bailey

Former Deputy Chief of Chaplains