Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Living Giving

I worked a long day today.

I started with a couple of young ladies, moved on to the loudest woman on the planet. Had a wee break then went to another young lady who thrives on emotional ups and downs yet doesn't ever realize what's up or what's down ending with someone who snored through karaoke. I started at 7am and got home before 9pm. Shockingly though I had a mini epiphany.

While I was riding home with a few people I support from karaoke we chatted about the Christmas lights, I had commented about them being up already. We talked about the lighting of the lights in the park and when it happened. Then my mind wandered.

I remembered reading an e-mail that Wally sent from work about a new clothing and toy drive at his work. I had contemplated after reading it what we would buy and where it would come from in our new 'we just bought a house' budget.

I wasn't worried about whether or not we'd had money, I knew we had more than enough whether it would fit into our budget or not. But I considered the fact that in our new budget there's the budgeted items: groceries, heat, hydro, gas, insurance, etc. and how when we give, it's generally out of the 'giving' portion. There's a certain amount we set aside to give each month, so when we give that's where the money comes from.

It wasn't until I thought of Christmas as I watched the lights sparkle that at certain times we are called to give out of only what we have not our extra.

You see Wally and I have extra. If you are reading this it is likely you do too.

In order to be careful with our money we plan how we spend it. That is of course excluding when we decide to buy dessert out once in a while, and when we decide to treat ourselves to a meal out, or if there's a new cd one of us wants on itunes or a movie we just have to see. Sometimes those things just pop up, yet it still seems like no big deal to 'squeeze' them into our funds.

How often do we get extra opportunities to spend money on giving. Whether it's buying our friend lunch who's had a bad day (God forbid we don't get a tax receipt when we give!), or picking up a few extra groceries at the store while we're there.

I don't know about you but I too often get caught up in giving out of what I have rather than what I don't.

No, I'm not saying you should be giving on credit in a way that puts you into debt - that would be silly (although of all the kinds of debt to get into that one might be the most forgivable kind). But rather challenging you (and myself) to give out of what we don't have scheduled in to give.

There's a story in the Bible about a widow I believe that gave the last of what she had. could you imagine? When do we ever do that? Generally in this culture we are lucky if we even give out of our extra let alone out of what we're counting on to get us to our next meal. That takes faith.

Not only that somehow your needs will be met, but that your last possession will be appreciated to the capacity that it would be by yourself. I've often not given because I didn't feel someone worthy of my treasure because I didn't know if my 'investment' would pay off.

Why does it really matter though? Are we called to give always in order to reap a reward in whatever way? OR do you think sometimes we are called to give, period? No expectations, just growth.

I know this seems like a kindergarten lesson from Sunday School but it really struck me tonight so I wanted to share.

I find this lesson a little scary but one I hope to put into practice. I think I'm going to try and give out of my budget as well. So if I had $50 give some of it.
It's small but it would be a sacrifice for me. I would feel it. I would notice. It would mean something more than a percentage or just a predetermined number.

Well I'm half asleep on my way to becoming whole asleep.

I hope you got something out of this.

Pretty basic: give. From where you feel it. Then you know your alive and your giving is too.

I know this great place you could send your money too ;)

(Ok, you didn't expect me not to try right?)