You really haven’t lived until you have helped someone without the expectation of being paid back!*
Three years ago I was lost outside Ottawa when I had traveled to Canada for work. My service provider assured me my cell phone and GPS would work while there…not so. Needless to say being lost in the middle of nowhere was a time that I will never forget; no homes, no stores, no lights, cold outside, no compass, no cell service…and most of all no GPS!!
I was a foreigner in a strange land. My journey started out in the daylight in downtown Ottawa – just to drive by Parliament Hill, but one wrong turn quickly turned it into a nightmare.
My silent prayers started out with, “Lord, please help me find my way.” It was still daylight and fortunately I had plenty of gas. I stopped at a local restaurant and was provided with directions – just not the right directions – they took me out to the boonies. After three hours my prayers progressed to me crying out as loud as I could, “Lord, build me a gas station. Help me find someone that can get me safely to my hotel.”
Shortly thereafter a small petrol sign appeared!! I truly believed He built that gas station just for me!
A man pumping gas started to give me directions, but there were so many turns he soon realized I would never find my way. He offered to have me follow him to where my hotel was located 45 minutes away. Trusting God that this person meant me no harm, I followed. When we finally arrived at my hotel, he rolled down his window and said, “I just ask that you pay it forward.”
This man lived only 5 minutes away from the gas station, but was willing to drive 45 minutes to get me safely to my hotel! I never got his name, but frequently I remember him and thank God for putting this angel in my pathway.
Paying it forward…yes indeed, I try to do this but not as often as I should.
How about you? Are you seeking those opportunities to help someone else without the expectation of anything in return?
What have you done this week to pay it forward? I’d love for you to share your experiences.
Here are some ideas…
• Help someone at the grocery store that is in a scooter by getting them an item from the top shelf
• Cook a meal for someone that is alone or ill
• Call a friend or someone who you know is lonely…you just might make a new friend
• Write a note or email…send a text to let them know you are thinking of them
• When you see a family, don’t just ooh and ah over the youngest child – notice the big brother or sister
• Don’t just say I will pray for you…Yes pray, but if there is something you can do for that person, try to find an opportunity to actually do it!
Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.
I love that second part! God has a great way of getting right to the point. So many times we think we are better than others…who are we kidding? Ourselves!!
Lord, help us reach out to others and to put them first. Let us not be impressed with who we are rather to be impressed with who you are and to only boast about you!! Your Word tells us that if we ignore the needs of others we are ignoring you. And especially remind us to pay it forward. AMEN
*Adapted original quote from John Wooden