So, this has been on my mind: Giving up.
Not quitting. Simply giving up.
Giving praise upwards. Giving shouts of joy upwards. But also, here in this daily world, giving up stuff, time, money.
I’ve talked about it a few times, under the guise of a theme on planning. I had no idea when I started that topic, I was really onto another theme, a totally different idea. But once it started, I noticed it. I didn’t grab it right away, but I noticed, and I decided like all posts here where I write with just the seed of an idea to see what grows from it, that’s what I’d let happen.
On the topic of giving, I have found there is a very fine line between sharing what you do and being all “Hey, look how I awesome I am because I give!” I don’t want to fall into the latter category, but I also feel like if we all sit down quietly and never discuss what we’re passionate about, what’s moving us, who we are all able to help, how will others know who to help too? If we don’t discuss how it makes us feel, the highs and lows, how will others know how rewarding it is for everyone? If we don’t share ideas of HOW to give, others might see it as impossible. So if I step over the line, forgive me, as it’s not my intent.
I’ve been delivering pizzas again for a week (three days, really). I’ve been blessed with a return to this job (and I’ll talk about all of this again later), a way to make money with a job that I CAN shrug off when I clock out, or shrug off completely if it comes to it. And with this job comes the opportunity to visit lots and lots of people. People from all walks off life. People with big houses, and people with tiny trailers. I’ve visited the young and the elderly, the drunk and the sober. From the most money to the least, all these people have one thing in common: They have found a way to afford a pizza.
Do they even know how blessed that makes them? Even the pregnant woman without a car, standing at the door tired and ready to give birth, living perhaps not where she saw herself living, surrounded by less than desirable moments…she is so blessed. She was able to order pizza.
So many in this world cannot even think about doing such. They’re eating out of the garbage, if they’re eating at all.
I don’t at all mean that as any kind of condemnation toward anyone here or you. I just want you to see how blessed you live. How blessed I live. And if we can find the money for a pizza for one night’s meal, couldn’t we find the money to help feed another family for a whole month?
It doesn’t have to be in Africa or India. We do have needy families here in America, homeless families, homeless children. Can you give where your heart leads you?
I personally have been drawn to different places. I give locally and across the world. I am currently very excited about this (this being where I might step over the fine line, but I’m doing it) -
(I’m putting all the change I get from pizza delivery tips in this jar to buy a cow!)
I read stories of human trafficking and starving children, and families living beside railroad tracks, and mothers abandoning their children in hopes that it will help them, and children so hungry they eat mud and wind up dying, and young girls being kidnapped and put into prostitution, and outright famine, and on and on and on, and just when I think I can’t take it anymore, I hear another story. My heart breaks into pieces when I see how much I have and know how much they don’t.
Oh, I know…the first response I often get is, “Well, if it makes you feel so bad, why don’t you sell everything you have and give them the money. There, that’ll make you feel better.” But it’s not about ME feeling better. It’s not even about filling someone else’s belly. It’s about LOVE. It’s about loving each other, but mostly, loving God. If I love God, then I want to love his children.
Honestly, I struggle almost daily with what to give up and what to hold onto. I sometimes find my hands clenched tightly around that which is not mine, holding onto something that would be better off in another’s hands. What I write of is not always easy for me; I don’t write it because it is, but rather because I want it to be easier, and I want to encourage you to find ways to make it easier.
It’s easy to feel like we don’t have enough of what we need and want from day to day. It’s even easier to stress out about what we don’t have. But sometimes we just need to stop and be real with ourselves. Most of us here in America have plenty. In fact, we have too much. Way too much.
So, what can we give up? What can we give up for God? What can we give up TO God? What can we give up so that others can HAVE?