I pulled into the drive-thru at Starbucks the other day and ordered my Venti Chai Tea Latte. When I reached the window to receive my deliciously hot beverage, the young girl at the window told me someone had already paid for my drink. I was thrilled. I’d heard people talk about paying-it-forward, but I’d never experienced it personally.
She then asked me if I would like to continue the blessing by paying for the person behind me. Of course I said yes.
I was so excited about being a small part of such a paying-it-forward act of kindness that I was practically giddy all day. I had to tell everyone that came into my office.
Hmm…Come to think about it…
Why did I wait for someone to pay-it-forward for me before I realized I could have been the one to start a chain of paying-it-forward?
If that one act of kindness excited me so much, what would happen if that same excitement spread through the city? Everyone would experience the Christmas Spirit in a very special way. Even those who have deemed themselves a Grinch, couldn’t help but smile.
People are shocked when given an unexpected gift. They may not express their gratitude at the moment, but rest assured their life was touched.
As Jesus said in Acts 20:35, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” What a better time to start giving than now?
Another act of kindness happened at our local Piccadilly Restaurant last week. My 80 year old mother called me. Her voice was so cheerful I could feel her smiling. After she and my Dad finished their lunch at Piccadilly, they went to stand in line to pay for their meal. Mother reported that a nice looking young man took their ticket and paid for their meal. She’d heard of people doing that kind of thing, but it had never happened to them.
One person CAN make a difference.
There are other ways to give besides monetary gifts. Visit a nursing home, open a door for someone, or give a smile away. Compliments work, too. Tell the cashier at the grocery store that he/she is doing a great job, even if he is grumpy. No one knows their story.
I challenge everyone to look for ways to show kindness to others. Christmas is a great time to start a year long journal of acts-of-kindness or acts of paying-it-forward.
Sharing Jesus along the way is the ultimate goal. If they find Christ through our willingness to show kindness… Remember, for some …we may be the only Jesus they ever see.
Psalms 63:3 – “Thy loving kindness is better than life…”
May the spirit of Christmas overtake commercialism, and the acts of kindness prove to the world that…Jesus IS the reason for the Season.