I didn’t steal it…It “fell” from the sky. Thanks, God?!

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“Say what, Dadda?  You didn’t!”

We moved to AZ the summer before I started the 5th grade.  The rental house that we were renting was close enough to school that we could ride our bikes or take the bus.  When it 115F outside we preferred to take the bus.  However the buses didn’t have AC so the bus was probably hotter than taking our bikes or walking.

The summer that I started 7th grade we moved into our own home.  It was wonderful and the location was great.  Getting to the Junior High meant we either were required to walk, bike, or be driven.  We were too close for the bus yet we were pretty far away.  I think the walk was at least a mile (each way uphill and in the snow) :).

One hot afternoon walking home from school I had 50 cents with me.  I stopped halfway home at the grocery store.  It was hot…hot…hot…More than 110F.  This grocery store had a Coke machine outside their doors on the sidewalk.

I put in my 50 cents, hit the Coke button, and out came my Coke and my 50 cents.

Wow!  Let me do that again!

I put in my 50 cents, hit the Coke button, out came my Coke and my 50 cents.

Wow!

I was on a roll.  I couldn’t believe it.  God was blessing me!

In fact, I had to go into the grocery store and get two plastic bags so I could hold the 15 Cokes that I got out of the vending machine plus my 50 cents!

I carried those Cokes the rest of the way home and showed my parents the blessings from God.  How He, God, took my 50 cents and multiplied it and instead of one Coke I got 15.

My parents tried to explain to me that this was stealing from the man who owns the Coke machine.  I didn’t see it that way.  After all, it was a blessing from God, right?

I had to return all those Cokes to the store that day and learned a lesson about stealing.

I should have reported the broken machine to the grocery store so that they could fix it after the FIRST “free” Coke.

Fast forward a few years-to yesterday.   I was at Costco returning my unused car battery and an unopened printer.  I asked that the refund be put on my credit card.  She said no problem, “Go ahead and sign here.”

She issued me my receipt and I was about to walk away when I decided to look at the amount.  I wanted to make sure that I was refunded in full.

When I looked at the receipt I did a double take.  The amount that she put back on my card was $568.  It should have read $200.

WOW!  God blessed me again.  This time with $368!

I tried to explain that this amount wasn’t correct.  The lady tried to explain to me that it was.  She even looked at the receipt and tried to convince me.

I looked up my credit card information really quickly to check my statement on my phone.

Maybe I was wrong.  But no.  The charge for the printer was $103.48 not $450.

I could have walked away with the free money they were trying to throw at me, but I learned when I was younger the importance of not stealing-no matter if the person made a mistake or not.

I share this story with you, not because I’m perfect (Just ask my wife.  Wait.  Please don’t.  Haha)…

But I share this story with you as an encouragement to you and your children.

Look for every opportunity to teach them the right way, God’s Way.

And, secondly, look for every opportunity to be an example to your children, spouse, friends, and coworkers.

Be the example, folks.  Not the thief.

Thank you for allowing me to be the Guest Blogger.  I look forward to seeing you one more time this week.

(c. photo above Erin DeZago)

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