So I am driving to work. Driving and praying. Just sharing some things with God as they come on my mind. Somewhere in the middle of that conversation, I get to thinking of what it would be like if someone came up and gave me a big check. (My mind wanders much of the time). I think to myself, “If I get a big check today, I will give half of it away.” I’m thinking if someone hands me a check for ten grand, it would be easy to give it away. Has never happened. Safe bet. Isn’t it amazing how easy it is to make these promises when there is no real money on the table? Still, I thought, “Yea, I could give it away.”
I sensed the spirit of God say “Really? If that is really what you would do, say it out loud.”
What? Say it out loud? In the truck? While I am driving? I chuckled. Must be my mind going screwy (again). Or, was it God? OK, I thought, what have I got to lose? “Today,” I said out loud, “if someone hands me a check, I will give half of it away.”
I shook my head. I must be half-crazy; jabbering out loud. I went on with my day. Honestly, I forgot about the little talking-to-myself episode. Totally forgot about it.
Later in the day a guy came and was talking to me. He gave me an envelope with some money he owed me. I had done some work for the guy and was awaiting some payment. He usually mailed these kinds of things. No big deal, instead of mailing it ,he gave it to me. We had not agreed on a price, but I knew the guy would treat me fair. No big deal. I figured between $100-$300.
Later in the day, I opened the envelope and read the check. Seven-hundred dollars. Seven. Hundred.
I had totally forgotten about the early morning encounter. My first thought? “Daddy is getting a new TV.” I have my eye on a big man-size TV and this will help get me there. “Wait,” I thought, “I need to tithe off this money.”
Then it hit. I heard the voice from the truck earlier that morning. It came with a thud. The battle started. Wait! No! I made the promise based on if the check was a gift. The guy owed me money. And it wasn’t like $10,000 or anything. Come on!
I would like to say that it was an easy decision to do what I promised. Nope, it was hard. For 30 minutes God and I went back and forth. I really wanted the money. I earned it. It was mine. Somewhere in the middle of my wrestling I heard the spirit say “It is yours to do as you wish, but he HANDED it to you and it was more than you expected.” Then the clincher. “If you can’t be trusted with this little bit of money, you can’t be trusted with $10,000.”
I cried uncle.
I asked for forgiveness.
But, but, before taxes or after taxes? I was too mentally drained. Just split it down the middle.
So, now I have $350 bucks that needed to find a home. Do I just hand it to a guy on the street?
My mind was drawn back to a conversation I had with a friend a few days earlier. When I asked him how his day was, this was his response: “Well, I had to spend 300 bucks on some new glasses since mine broke and on top of that my wife needed a new tire on her truck.” I smiled. God just bought you some new glasses my friend.
Later that day I sat my family down and explained the whole deal. I asked Stephanie and the girls, “What do I do? Keep the money or give half away.”
No hesitation. “Give it away.”
So last night we headed over to my pal’s house. I asked him if he was feeling lucky. We broke out the cards for a little Texas Hold’em. I threw a sealed envelope on the table. “Beat me in poker and the envelope is yours.” Note: I am worse than bad at poker. A few hands later and he had me beat. Surprise. He opened the envelope.
I have never given that much money away. I figured it would be hard. I was dead wrong. By the time I got to his house I had released the money. It was not mine. It was easy. And fun.
“What is this?” He asked, opening the envelope. “I’m not keeping this.”
“Yes you are,” I said. “God just bought you some new glasses my friend.”
I told him the story. We laughed. He gave me a man hug. When I got home he had sent an e-mail to several friends telling them what had happened. “God,” he said, “rocked.”
Yes my friend, he does.
May you see so clearly with your God-glasses that he is everywhere you look. A few hundred bought you some new specs and helped me see better. It’s a win-win. Isn’t that just like God?
[tags]Texas Hold’em, God, money, giving, Holy Spirit, listening, prayer, gift [/tags]