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Balancing Your Goodness Account

Have y’all ever noticed that there are lots of things in life that you get now and use later? Stuff like money, food, water, light bulbs, lottery tickets, aspirin, razors, and breath mints? Stuff that you know you’ll need somewhere down the road, and stuff that you’ll always need to keep a good supply of? People have done this throughout the ages, and it just makes good, common sense. Even a Perry Como fan could reason it out.

Y’all might find it interesting to learn that physical items aren’t the only thing you can apply this “get now, use later” concept to. I learned as a young fellow growing up in Juliette that it can also be applied to non physical things. The following will illustrate my point...

When I was growing up in Juliette, my whole family attended church each Sunday. And not just the church service itself - we all attended Sunday School as well. We spent many enjoyable Sundays in church, learning many things and enjoying fellowship with all of our relatives and friends who attended there as well.

Ed Jr. probably got the most out of the services each week. He would listen intently to what the preacher was saying, and you could always tell whether or not he agreed with him. If he agreed, he would slowly nod his head up and down and smile, and if he disagreed the veins in his neck would stand up and he’d get this semi-flushed look on his face. One time I can remember him muttering “damn” when the preacher said we should forgive people that do bad things to us. My mom got on to him about that, and he whispered back that he was a man and that the preacher should’ve known that this would be a hard pill for him to swallow. From that he went back to intently listening. He didn’t smile too much afterwards, though.

On our way home that day, Ed Jr. mentioned to my brother and I that it was important to go to church. He said that he liked it because you constantly had this war going on within you between good and evil, and that church helped you build up your “internal bank account on the right side.” I remember asking him just what he meant by an “internal bank account”? Ed Jr. explained that church “put a weeks supply of goodness” inside him each Sunday, and that this goodness could be drawn against as the upcoming week progressed. He even went on to give me an example of just what he meant. He said that if President Johnson did something really stupid on Tuesday which caused him to cuss that he could draw out some of the goodness he had stored up the past Sunday to balance off his sin. He then added that you had to be real careful about how much or how often you sinned, cause if you continually overdrew your account, “...Satan will be measuring you for an asbestos suit one day.” It all made perfect sense to me, and I found myself even more eager to attend church each Sunday so that I could replenish my “goodness account” for the upcoming week.

Even the best systems can have a few kinks, but the only time I can remember Ed Jr. having a problem with his goodness account was one hot summer day when we’d just returned home from church. We’d sat through both the regular church service and Sunday School, and had just gotten out of our car. My brother Ernest, for some unknown reason, walked right up to Ed Jr. and kicked him hard in the shins. Ed Jr. must’ve hollered and cussed for a good five minutes, and then he looked at my brother and said, “See what you’ve done now! I’ve already lost all my religion for the rest of this week!” In later years Ed Jr. said that it was the hardest week he’d ever had to endure as he had no room for error. As he put it, “I had to be gooder than a Baptist preacher doin’ a one night revival.” He even claimed that it caused his teeth to hurt because he had to be so good for an entire week.

So, the way I see it, a good savings program can help you in many ways. You can end up with more money, have more food to eat, have sweeter breath every day, or you can cuss the Falcons or Braves if the balance in your goodness account is up there where it ought to be...

Submitted by:

Ed Williams

Ed’s latest book, “Rough As A Cob,“ can be ordered by calling River City Publishing toll-free at: 877-408-7078. He’s also a popular after dinner speaker, and his column runs in a number of Southeastern publications. You can contact him via email at: ed3@ed-williams.com, or through his web site address at: www.ed-williams.com.





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