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Pay it forward

One of the downfalls of my sales job is the temptation to frequent fast-food drive-thrus. I know, I know…it’s terrible for you…and yes, I did watch the documentary about the guy who performs his own social experiment and eats McDonald’s food for an entire month. I am also aware of the results which included weight gain, a plummeting energy level and all sorts of other terrible side effects which you’d think would be enough deterrent to keep me driving past those golden arches. BUT… (I can hear my CrossFit friends cringing right now) I was in a rush one morning and didn’t grab an apple and RX bar – my usual lunch. I had been on the road all day and, just as my stomach reminded me of my failure to plan, the bright, yellow M appeared in the distance. It was like an oasis in a desert and the only option I had for miles. I pulled into the parking lot and rolled up to the speaker as I reached for my wallet. “Welcome to McDonald’s, may I take your order?” (I thought I had a 5 spot but all I found was a dollar bill.) Shoot! “Um, yes, I’ll just take a small fry and a glass of water, please” “That’ll be 1.39. Please pull forward” came the crackly response. I managed to scrounge around some change from my cup-holder and pulled up to the window. The girl in the black hat and headset slid open the window and leaned out, “You had the small fry and water, right? The person in front of you paid for your order so you are all set.” I honked and waved at the black car in front of me as they pulled away.

It was only 1.39 but it totally made my day. It wasn’t the amount but the thought that counted. It was the fact that someone decided to pay it forward and I was the lucky recipient. It bolstered my faith in humanity and touched me in a meaningful way. It wasn’t like they donated a kidney or anything, but their generosity stayed with me the rest of the day. It reminded me that it doesn’t take much to lift someone’s spirits and brighten their day. One dollar and thirty-nine cents was all it took for a positive influence to ripple into the cosmos.

When we use our money to bless others, we share the love of God in a tangible way. He loves it when people are kind and generous because it reflects His heart in a real and profound way. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Sometimes, we need to put our money where our mouth is and meet needs in a real and practical way. It doesn’t matter if you and your spouse are rich or poor, use what you have and bless someone – somehow in some way. Make a game out of it on a date night. Have some fun and maybe even eat some fries! I can guarantee your recipient won’t be the only one who is blessed!

“…remembering the words of the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35 NIV

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