The coed was confronted by two problems many students are all too familiar with – low grades and no money. She had to tell her parents. What would she say? After much thought, she composed the following letter:

Dear Mom and Dad,

Just thought I’d drop you a note to clue you in on my plans. I’ve fallen in love with a guy named Jim. He quit high school after grade 11 to get married. About a year ago he got a divorce.

We’ve been going steady for two months and plan to get married in the fall. Until then, I’ve decided to move into his apartment (I think I might be pregnant).

At any rate, I dropped out of school last week, although I’d like to finish college sometime in the future.

On the next page she continued:

Mom and Dad, I just want you to know that everything I’ve written so far in this letter is false. NONE of it is true.

But Mom and Dad, it IS true that I got a C- in French and flunked Math … It IS true that I’m going to need some more money for my tuition payments.

"Pretty sharp coed," Chuck Swindoll (the source of this story) said. "Even bad news can sound like good news if it is seen from a certain vantage point." He then speaks to the power of perspective whereby we are able to see things in their relative importance.

I was reminded of that power recently when I read of a man who, battling cancer, decided to build his own pine coffin. "It’s pretty much impossible," he said, "to feel anger at someone for driving too slowly in front of you in traffic when you’ve just come from sanding your own coffin" (Christian Century, March 5).

"So teach us to count our days," the psalmist prays, "that we may gain a wise heart" (Psalm 90:12). I hear in that, "So teach us to count our days that we may gain the power of putting things in proper perspective."

Warner F. Davis is Pastor of Collierville Presbyterian Church, located at 202 West Poplar Ave Warner has released a spiritual memoir titled, "Peace in a Mad Dog World: Finding Security When My Need For Control had Failed Me," through Virtualbookworm Publishing. For more information about his book, visit For more information about the church, call 853.4226 or go online at


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