November 26, 2015
Southern Torch (3793 articles)

Learning from a Taxing Situation

Dr. John E. Morgan

Dr. John E. Morgan, Pastor-Collinsville Baptist Church

By Dr. John E. Morgan

Pastor–Collinsville Baptist Church

I was just tired enough to learn something important.

A lady in my church had taken over the local branch of H. and R. Block.  She asked me if I would be willing to help out during the busy season.  I would be doing the really important work in a tax preparation place.  Answering the phone.  Emptying the garbage cans.  Sometimes running the vacuum cleaner.  Going to the bank.  Putting paper in the copier.  Running the fax machine.  The really important work.   Not like all the other people in the building who were actually preparing tax returns.

Okay, you’re right.  I was a general flunky.  I would work eight hours or so there, and then I would go and do church work.  It makes for a draining period every winter.

During the busy part of the busy season it can get even busier.  And there can be lots of pressure.  We Americans don’t like to wait.  But there can be lots of waiting during tax season.  I schedule most of the appointments, and people check in with me when they arrive.  Then they sit and wait for their preparer if we are running behind.  And they stare at me a lot.  Mostly people are amazingly patient and nice.  They can see everyone is working really hard.

It was during that busier time.  There were about ten people waiting.  I had been fairly busy.  I knew that I would need to go straight to Gadsden to visit in the hospital as soon as I finished at the work at Block.

One of those waiting knew me fairly well.  He asked me if I was okay.  I told him I was just tired.  I knew I still had a long night ahead of me.  I was actually doing a “poor ol’ me” act.  Feeling a little sorry for myself.

One of those waiting looked at me and said, “As near as I can figure you have two full time jobs.  I have been hunting a job for almost six months.  I am about to file taxes with unemployment benefits for the first time in my life.  I’d be glad to swap with you.”  It was the year unemployment was at its worst in DeKalb County.

What could I say?  I felt like crawling out.  I looked at him and said, “You’re right.  And I am sorry.  No more complaining.” He had really put me in my place.

And my place was to be very thankful for my two jobs.

I have come to realize at Block that most people in DeKalb are not rich.  They are just ordinary people.  The kind who hope to take their tax refund and pay bills.  The kind of people who want to be able to buy their kids some new shoes.  An awful lot of us live from paycheck to paycheck.

This is Thanksgiving.  Some of you will go around the table and say something you are thankful for.  That’s good.  Better is to live a life of thankfulness.

You do that by looking beyond yourself.  Looking at your neighbors.  Not at your own pitiful little pity party.  Seeing if you can help them or they can help you.

Looking beyond yourself especially means that you look to God.  In good times and bad times you look to God.  You trust Him to give you what you need.  Paul said to “rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice”.  That’s Thanksgiving .

You might try it out.  Before somebody puts you in your place.  Like they did me.

Read Philippians 4 to see all that Paul says about being content in plenty and in want.

Southern Torch

Southern Torch


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