Saturday, March 13, 2010

Why Am I Here? -- Part 3 -- Somebody Paid

We are half way through this short series that examines a bit of my personal story and yet illustrates some principles that apply universally.

However, this one will not have a name associated with it as the others have.  It will have an element of mystery.

Here are the four topics again as a reminder.

I am what I am because:
  • Somebody Played
  • Somebody Stayed
  • Somebody Paid, and
  • Somebody Prayed

I discussed the first point and I am deeply grateful for the impact that my 4th grade boys Sunday School teacher had on my life.

I discussed in the last post what an impact on my life was made through the personal sacrifice that my mom made to stay at home and raise two boys.

This post is about something a little more tangible.  This post takes the word sacrifice and makes it a little more concrete.

I am what I am today because somebody paid.  Somebody, and there were lots of somebodies, invested in me.  They took their hard earned money and they decided to use it for Kingdom building. 

The first two posts went back quite a few years.  This one does not delve that far back into history.  And, I must be honest.  I don't really know for sure who the person is that is worthy of my thanks and God's blessing.  But, i think I do.  And it happened about 15 years ago at a time of great financial struggle in my life.

Every year there was a Layman's Retreat Week-End that was hosted by the Washington District Church of the Nazarene.  This event was the highlight of the year for many folks.  The event was held in various places and conference settings.  But the best by far was The Willow Valley Resort & Conference Center in Lancaster, PA.  This place was not the place for folks on a diet or for vegetarians.  Does the word "smorgasbord" It was the place for incredible gravy covered menu items and coconut cream pie as a chaser!  But it was a wee bit expensive if you were a one income family living in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.

We scrimped and saved and found a way to go most years.  But one year, things were a little tougher than other years.  And it didn't look like we were not going to be able to afford it.  Then the envelope came in the mail box.  It was addressed to us.  But it didn't have a return address on it.  What it had in it was almost the exact amount of cash that we would need to register for and attend the conference that year.  Somebody paid for us to go.

I don't know for sure who did that.  I think I do.  but I am not certain.  But I know this.  There was a couple in the church that was a little older than us.  They were both established in their careers.  I'll not give any more details about them out of respect for their privacy.  I know that they would not want any sort of public acknowledgment.

Nevertheless, I think they chose to invest some of their money into a young couple with two small children.  They invested in a young couple that was doing all that they could to raise their children right.  They invested in a young couple who worked hard and volunteered for many duties in their church.  They invested in a young couple who needed the encouragement and fellowship that they found at the conference each year.

What about you?  Are you able to invest in someone?  If so, what are you going to do about it?

We made a solemn promise to God that if we ever were in a position to "invest" like somebody did in us, we would do so.  God has blessed us over the years.  And through God's blessings we have been able to make a few investments as well.   The gift and the blessing goes on and on and on.

Thank you *** and ****.

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