What a contradiction it is to give something away and end up getting more in return. It’s even more intriguing when you give away something that you really don’t want to give away. Yet, taking a step of faith and giving away what you want to hold on to the most, ends up being the most rewarding of all.
Simple things. It doesn’t have to be giant loads of money or boxes full of food. Take time for example.
This past weekend, I wanted to thank some family members who helped move furniture when I bought my new house. Patty and I made a feast of all the things that we knew they liked. I made ribs on the grill. Patty made special veggies and drinks. Then we did our best to spoil them all day. We had fun conversations at the table and really enjoyed each other’s company. What we actually did was to take time out of our busy schedules to make this their special day. We made time for them instead of ourselves.
I’ve had several challenges lately in that same area of service and addressing the needs of others.
The paradox of service to others, is that whatever it is that you give away, you get back even more than you gave. I don’t know why that wasn’t ingrained in me growing up, because my parents were very giving. But for some reason, it doesn’t come naturally for me. I have to consciously decide I’m going to serve. I much prefer to stay self centered, I’m ashamed to say.
What happens to me when I serve is, I get the most satisfied and contented feeling inside me. It isn’t until after the event that I look back and realize how much happiness and pleasure that I received when all along, what I thought I was doing was to make someone else happy, or full, or content for the day.
I have found the same thing with giving. Several years ago, my church gave the usual spiel about giving your 10% tithe. I didn’t grow up Baptist and I didn’t really care for the guilt complex associated with it. But, I had joined my church, I had heard the bible verses that talk about giving and I decided, what the heck, I’m going to do it. I checked my motivations and made sure my heart held no resentment, but was willing…and I gave my 10% each pay day.
What I found was (and this baffled me more than I can explain) that I had more money in my bank account at the end of the pay period than I thought possible. In other words, I got my pay stub and after looking at my deductions for taxes, retirement, savings, insurance and now…even 10% going to church….I still had money to do all the things I would have done that month anyway! And in the meantime, I was able to support all the things my church does with my donations.
It freakin’ blows me away.
Give time – you get time. Give money – you get money. Give love – you get love.
And the hidden blessing in all of that is the soul satisfaction, the peace and contentment, the pleasure and enjoyment of life each day. It’s a paradox, isn’t it? Giving away and getting more in return.