Sunday, May 26, 2013
Our family is just finishing up our long trek from Michigan to Las Vegas!!
As we exited the interstate in beautiful Colorado yesterday, there was a couple on the corner with a sign that read, “Need Food and Gas.” I always like to give whatever food I can scrounge up for people asking. We were traveling, so we had lots of half-eaten bags of chips, etc.
I immediately dug in our food box to find something that would make them happy. I grabbed the last of the Nutter Butters. I LOVE Nutter Butters, and I thought those would be really special. Then, Abe suggested we give them something more substantial as well. I grabbed an unopened box of granola bars and handed those up to the man. I felt good about giving them the food. With a big smile on his face, the man said excitedly, “Thank you so much! God bless you!”
Right after we gave him the food, I had giver’s remorse for a moment…
Realizing I had just given away my most favorite treat on our journey, I wondered if the couple would even appreciate the Nutter Butters as much as I would have. Remember- I LOVE Nutter Butters! That wafery, peanut buttery goodness that’s not too rich and just sweet enough… mmm so good… perfect-but gone. Was it ridiculous for me to wish for my Nutter Butters back- and especially if those treats were the only items of food this couple had to eat the whole day? Absolutely! …but I began to wonder if this couple’s intentions were real. Did they REALLY need food and gas? Did I give up my treats for nothing?
These thoughts came within a few selfish moments after I had been so eager and excited to give my most prized treat. Abe stopped my selfishness in my tracks with the words, “God will bless you- no matter what- God will bless you.” It didn’t matter if they did appreciate it! I felt moved to give it, so I could trust that there must have been a reason.
All of a sudden, I remembered a different Nutter Butter surprise that happened just 9 days previously…
My children and I ran into a hair salon- which was inside a grocery store- to get my hair cut really fast. Due to my lack of planning, we arrived at lunchtime, and the children were all hungry. I began to give instructions to the oldest children to stick together and pick out some food in the grocery store to bring back for the younger ones.
Before I could even finish giving my instructions, the hair stylists went to the back room and brought out an unopened box of Nutter Butters for the children to eat! With big hugs and lots of gratitude, the children ate the entire box of Nutter Butters. I couldn’t believe this sweet hair stylist was generously feeding my family while I was getting my haircut!
Because of their service, I felt a strong desire to be a better, more loving woman. When my opportunity arose to serve and give my favorite treat-the last of my own box of Nutter Butters- my spirit remembered and was very willing.
…but when my physical- more selfish self- tried to take over for a moment, I forgot charity and love. I only thought about the wafery, peanut buttery taste that would have satisfied my taste buds in just the right way.
Abe was right… we are ALWAYS blessed by God when we give more and sacrifice selflessly for others. That doesn’t mean that God needed me to give away everything we had, but I received an opportunity to “pay forward” the exact item from 9 days previously.
Knowing that my spirit was more aware of the best way to serve than my physical body was aware, makes me want to trust my spiritual self so much more… How often do we second guess our impressions to serve in a unique way or to do something great through acts of service or sacrifice? When we second guess those spiritual impressions, I believe we miss a lot of sweet opportunities. Service and sacrifice teach us in the most beautiful way how to become an extension of Christ’s outstretched hand of love.
The Nutter Butters are but a very small example in my life. My goodness- they only cost 2-3 dollars, but now they represent so much more to me. They represent the need to pay attention to my spiritual self and that sacrificing some of my own desires in an effort to serve others is never a waste- no matter what!
-because no matter what, God will bless you.