I'm going to open Christmas presents tonight with Dave and Sally. Dave is getting a book (The Kennedy Detail) and Sally is getting a Starbucks card. I'm not sure what's in store for me but I am very easy to please. The following is about a gift I received almost five years ago and it wasn't even Christmas! This is from February 9, 2006.
I got a gift today. It's not just any gift- it's a Compaq Presario 1200 laptop computer! Russell and Shara Carr gave it to me. Actually, that's not quite true. I am taking them to supper at IHOP for compensation- pretty sweet deal! I started writing this blog in October and naively thought it would take 15-20 minutes per day. The reality is that it takes two hours daily on average. Since my only computer access is in my classroom, I have been tied down to the school, spending an inordinate amount of time in Room 258. Russell knew the schedule was killing me- a computer in my apartment would set me free from the confines of my workplace. Shara graduated from college in December and was putting her laptop into storage. They graciously offered it to me and I very thankfully accepted. The question now; where do I go from here? I have zero knowledge of what I am getting into. There is no mouse on this computer and I am clueless about how to subscribe to the Internet. What will I do when there are glitches? It's easy at Westbury Christian- I just call Karen Long or Jyusef Larry, our computer support people, and the dilemma is solved. I am excited about my gift but the more I think about it, the more anxious I become. Sometimes, I feel like Charlie Brown. Quoting Linus, Charlie was the only person who could take a wonderful event and turn it into a problem. I'm nervous because I am ignorant. I am so grateful and I want to justify the kindness Russell and Shara have shown me. I preached their wedding. There was a little nervousness that day, too!
We aren't always very good at accepting presents. Sometimes, we are reluctant because we think we become indebted to the giver. At times, we are ashamed at the lack of our own generosity. Receiving is much more complicated than giving because we are often caught off guard. We wonder if there are motives attached. It's hard to be genuinely thankful when we are thinking one step ahead. God gives good gifts. In fact, James tells us EVERY good gift and EVERY perfect gift is from God. We don't have to question his motives. He gives us what we need, when we need it, even if we fail to recognize it at the time. His gifts come from love. They aren't the same for all of us because we aren't the same. In the parent-child relationship, the parent exists to help the child grow into a life of excellence. Would it be any less with our Heavenly Father? He knew I needed to make a change and I believe he is using the willingness of Russell and Shara to share as a conduit to take care of me. If he provides me with a computer, where is my faith that he will help me with the details surrounding its use? Will the Lord leave me hanging out on the Internet limb? Of course not! God will be my Internet provider, in a manner of speaking. Now, Lord, we need to start thinking about that car payment!
Applicable quote of the day:
"It takes great generosity to accept generosity."
Steve (Guru of the World Wide Web)
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org