An Honest Mistake?
I really, really wanted to see a Bulls game. It was Michael Jordan's last season, probably, and I really, really, really wanted to see him play in person.
One of my friends had a couple of tickets to a Bulls game, but something came up and he couldn't go. He said he'd sell me a ticket for 20 big ones. OK, it's not that much. But after helping pay for my car insurance, and going on the youth group ski trip, well, I was broke …
Twenty bucks is nothing when I'm caddying. In the summer. This was February.
I could have baby-sat.
I could have waited until my allowance rolled around. My dad pays me 50 bucks every three months, but the next installment wasn't until April 1.
So I decided to beg.
"Dad, you gotta take me to see Jordan! Greatest player of all time. It's his last season. Come on. It could be a bonding experience for us."
"Sorry, Josh. Our last 'bonding experience' cost me 35 bucks a ticket, 'cause you 'really, really' wanted to see a hockey game. You slouched through the whole game and afterward said it was just 'OK.'"
"Come on, Dad, I really, really want to see the Bulls."
My dad's eyebrows bent—not a good sign. "And last year, you really, really wanted a set of weights, which is now collecting dust in the garage. And before that, you really, really wanted go fishing with me, but you couldn't even find your pole the last time I invited you to go."
"Dad, this is different. Honest." I'd run out of arguments, so I just gave him my most sincere stare.
He stared back and then smiled and shook his head. "OK, I'll make you a deal. I'll take you to the game, but you pay for your own ticket."
Well, that was half a miracle—to get my dad to take me to a basketball game, not exactly a sport he loves. But I still didn't have the cash.
I was getting desperate now, so I prayed.
"OK, God, I know this is kind of selfish, but I gotta be honest. I really want to see the Bulls this year. Just once. Any way you can make that happen? Amen."
Two days later, the full miracle occurred. I had driven over to 7-Eleven to pick up some milk and spaghetti sauce for my mom. The bill came to $5.32. So I gave the clerk a 50-dollar bill (it was all my mom had), and the guy gave me my change: "Sixty-eight cents makes six dollars, seven, eight, nine, ten, and two twenties makes fifty. Thanks."
I pulled into the driveway before I remembered to count the change—something my mom always tells me to do at the store, but a lot of times I forget.
I knew she'd ask as soon as I got inside, so I pulled out the change. I counted the coins, the four one-dollar bills, and the three twenties.
Three twenties? Where did that extra one come from? My heart thumped. My mind whirled. An answer to prayer? Well, if it was, I decided it would be me and the Lord's little secret. So I didn't tell anyone—at first, anyway.
At the Bulls game, my dad shouted above the crowd, asking me where I got the money for the ticket.
I mumbled through a mouth full of popcorn, "I just found $20 I didn't know I had."