The holiday season is in full swing, and as we go about our days filled with consumerist messages, it’s important to remember that we give in celebration of the ultimate gift that was given to us – a Savior.
A few days ago, I was listening to our local Christian music station on the radio in my car as I sat in the drive-through line at Chick-fil-a. I heard them mention how someone had paid for their coffee that week, and how much it blessed them because they had been having a rough day.
I could feel that little voice inside my heart, “Are you listening?”. I tried to ignore it. “I just don’t feel like it today, God. I’m tired, and I’ve been sick, and they probably wouldn’t appreciate it anyway…” But the feeling didn’t go away. So, I got to the window to pay, and I listened.
“I want to pay for the people behind me too.” Let me say, this was a first for me. We put money in the offering plate at church, and I always give to the organizations collecting money when we are out shopping – March of Dimes, food banks, cancer research, whatever. But this? This was different.
Lunch cost me 24 dollars that day.
And my human, sinful self had a variety of thoughts and emotions afterwards. They varied from that good feeling you get from doing the right thing to cynicism. I wondered whether they would pass it on or just let it end. I wondered if they even appreciated it. I wondered if the people working at Chickfila thought that I was super nice. I wondered and wondered and wondered, and then I stopped. “Are you listening? This isn’t about them, this is about you. Do you obey when I call you?” And then it all came together.
My dad used to give money to pan-handlers. When I was young, I loved it. But as I got older, I got cynical. “They are probably going to buy drugs with that money, Dad. Or they might just be scam artists. You are throwing your money away.” And my dad said to me, “The Lord knows what they do with the money, and I won’t have to answer for that – they will. But I will have to answer for why I don’t help my fellow man in need. It’s about doing what He calls us to do.”
So, are you listening?