Monkeys see, hear, speak no evil, Bangra.comEvery month we have some things that have to be done, which include reconciling the checkbook with the bank statement. The process has been helped somewhat by Quicken. Quicken automatically fills in the regular bills and makes the unique purchases easier to record. Also Quicken includes a calculator that adds and subtracts more quickly and accurately than I do.  So reconciliation with the bank statement should be a simple matter.

Even with these helpful tools it happens that the bank statement and my computer and my checkbook do not always agree. Three out of four times they do agree, which is better than it used to be, when I was always hunting for that penny or that ten cents or that dollar or that ten dollars or that multiple of those single digit errors that represented my mistakes in calculation along the way. Now the errors that creep into the statement are inscrutable odd numbers that come and go seemingly of their own accord.

Sometimes I can look back and find an odd check that Jan or I wrote to someone who did not cash it in a timely way, or a check that one of us failed to record. There may have been electronic fund transfers that came at an unexpected time and in an unexpected amount. The computer made its financial entry according to the prearranged pattern that had been disrupted through that circumstance beyond its or my control. Even when these matters are taken into account, there shows up a puzzling figure that I cannot explain, but which often disappears on the next bank statement.

Why should I worry if everything balances out eventually? Why should I worry if the amount is insignificant and I am able to carry a balance sufficient to provide for our needs beyond it? So I wait for the next month to see, usually, that the amounts have corrected themselves mysteriously with no intervention on my part.  I have grown so used to that over the years that I routinely just wait it out.

Finding the appropriate balance in many other things that seem wrong, full of errors, and suspicious may fall under the same principle. Let’s wait and see if “things that go around come around,” if “this too will pass,” if “the answer will appear some day.” Surely we can’t wait it out in all things. Some demand our immediate and sincere efforts. As Reinhold Niebuhr advised us, there are some things that we can change, with sufficient courage, and some things that we cannot change and must wait them out with patience, and God can be the source of the wisdom to tell the difference between them.