I have read of people who testified to the fact that they have had an out-of-body experience. After meeting some of these people I can understand why they would want to abandon their body if only for a moment. My question is, why did they return? Whether this was a real experience or not, only their hairdresser knows for sure.

I have made it one of the primary purposes of my life to stay in my body as long as I live. In fact, I have so developed my body so that there is ample room for my La-Z-Boy chair and me. I like to be comfortable.

Truth compels me to say that I have never experienced an out-of-body experience. Every night when I go to sleep, I am unconscious until morning, but I do not think that counts except when it comes to sheep, but who gives a baa-baa about sheep. I have a hard time relating to these people with such esoteric experiences. I do not doubt them, I just do not relate to them.

One thing that I can relate to is “an out-of-cash” experience. There, I said it. Confession is good for the soul. For many years, I was ashamed of having these kinds of experiences. I thought I was the only one in the whole world that ever experienced such trauma in their lives. I kept it a secret for many years.

But all that has changed. I am ready to come out of the closet and confess that when it comes to cash, I am simply out of it.

It’s not that I have always had an over abundance of cash. Throughout the years, it has come in a little here and a little there but mostly nowhere. I can never remember a time when my life was flooded with so much cash I did not know what to do with it all.

Being out-of-cash must not be as bad as it sounds. I suppose the terrible thing is how a person gets to that point in life.

I wanted to write a book about my out-of-cash experience but I only got up to chapter 11.

From everything I can gather, everybody seems to be out-of-cash. Even our government has come to such a perilous place as this. The government used to say, “I feel your pain,” and now they are really feeling our pain. The government is not broken as some people attest; the government is simply broke. Now they know how I really feel.

Being out-of-cash does have some advantage.

Last Tuesday, for example, was a long, hard day and I was glad to get home. When I did get home, my wife greeted me at the door and said, “Let’s go out for supper tonight. I don’t feel like cooking.”

I looked at her and said rather soberly, “I sure would love to go out tonight for supper, but I’m really out-of-cash.”

My wife gave me one of her trademark looks and said, “Let’s use your credit card.”

I would have argued but I was simply out-of-arguments. I must say that through the years she has been very generous with my credit card, which may be why I am really out-of-cash.

Being out-of-cash is not really the worst thing that can happen to a person. About three weeks ago, I had to go out of town for a little trip and forgot to fill up my gas tank. I didn’t even think about it. After all, with all the car payments and the monthly insurance payments you would think the car would come up with a little bit of cash on its own. But no, it leaves everything to me. My car once told me it was the responsibility of the owner.

I am not saying that my car is contrary but I was about 7 miles out of town when I ran out of gas. It does not matter how much cash you have on hand, if you run out of gas without a gas station nearby it just does not matter.

The men’s store where I usually buy my clothing was running a sale on shirts, the kind I usually wear. I had some errands to run and by the time I got to the men’s store, they had sold the last shirt. “I’m sorry,” the salesperson said, “but you’re out of luck.”

I am not quite sure which is worse, being out of cash or being out of luck. The truth of the matter is, no matter how much cash you have on hand if there are no more shirts left, you are simply out of luck.

A long time ago, I faced the simple truth that money cannot buy everything. I might be able to rent a little bit of happiness but it does not last forever. I have learned that the most important thing in life is to be balanced. Too much of anything, even a good thing, can really be harmful.

This must be what Solomon had in mind when he wrote, “Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain” (Proverbs 30:8-9 KJV).

The problem today is not that we do not have enough; we simply are not thankful enough for what we have.

The Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship. He lives with his wife, Martha, in Silver Springs Shores, Fla. Call him at (352) 687-4240 or e-mail jamessnyder2@att.net. The church website is www.whatafellowship.com.

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