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KANDI FARRIS: Worth the effort

That's a wrap. Yep, we've wrapped up another year.

We have wrapped, unwrapped and thrown wrapping paper away. Wild, isn't it? I hope you are wrapped up in a whole lot of holiday memories. Joy to the world kind of memories.

When Cooper was cleaning the car out, he found lots of change, and that reminded me of wrapping more than a little change.

It wasn't a pretty job. Money, as helpful and as necessary as it can be, is plain ol' dirty. After each wrapping session, I'd get a look at my hands, and they were dark and dingy with penny residue.

Monotonous was the word for the project. It was flat-out boring counting out 50 pennies at a time. It taxed my brain, and I'm easily distracted to boot. There was a ton of recounting. Do-over after do-over. All I can say is "Mama Mia." Aches and pains showed up, too -- make that penny rolling painful. "Stove up" from sitting too long. My lips didn't even come out pain free. I had to position my mouth at just the right angle to put the pennies in the wrapper and the repetition gave my mouth muscles a workout. It wasn't pretty.

Just when I had closed up the last penny, I realized that I'd have to find something strong enough to carry all this copper to the bank. Whew! Was it worth it?

Yep, it was a profitable "that'll preach" workout. I left the bank with a smile. All those times I'd stopped and picked up "just a penny" had added up.

Our moments are like those pennies. We walk by dismissing the minutes of our day. We can overlook joy. Pass by the hurting. Shun the small things. We miss what's valuable, what adds up. What an investment in acknowledging the minute. Minutes can be painfully long and often dirty, and we want to forget them instead of lingering over them, recounting and packaging them into memories. Yet, when they have slipped through our fingers and become years, we wonder where the time went.

And, yes, I could have simply gathered my pennies and tossed them in a machine, but I would have had to pay someone a percentage. I want all my minutes, like my pennies, to count for something. I don't want to pay someone else to count them for me because when the day is done, those minutes all add up to the sum of our lives.

The Bible tells us, "teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. " Let's make every minute of this year count. Give value to the small things. It's a wise thing to do, and it sure does add up. Now, that makes cents -- I mean sense -- to me.

Kandi Farris, a freelance columnist, also is a speaker on matters of faith and values.