What do you do to pass the time in a hospital waiting room when the hands of the clock are moving so slowly? Many about us were glued to their electronic devices. We just talked about . . . well, everything.
We talked about the Olympics, the really messed-up political scene, our favorite places to eat, and people we knew.
As we talked, the names of a particular couple came up. They had been among the first people to arrive that morning, but that was not unusual. They were always there. They looked for opportunities to help. They could be counted on. They have always great encouragers.
The lady sitting next to me said, “In my life, I have observed that there are givers and takers, and they are definitely givers.” I agreed.
Her saying that reminded me of a song we used to sing in church, “There Is a Sea.” It tells the story of the two seas in Palestine, the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea. The Sea of Galilee receives the waters of the Jordon River at the north and allows them to flow out at the south. It teems with life, and the area around it is lush. The Dead Sea receives the waters of the Jordon River at the north, but it has no outlet. It is aptly named. Nothing grows in or around it. Its salt content is ten times that of the ocean.
There is nothing wrong with being a taker, but it is wrong not to be a giver, too. God said to Abraham, “I will bless you . . . and you shall be a blessing” (Gen. 12:2). That’s God’s plan, and it work very well.
In fact, Jesus said that giving was even better than taking (Acts 20:35). That verse bothered me as a child, because I thought happiness came from getting all you could. That’s why I liked my birthday and Christmas. I got stuff.
I guess you have to grow a little to realize the truthfulness of what Jesus said. There is a particular joy in giving that comes no other way.
So, on this journey of ours, let’s be known more as givers than as takers. That really is the best way.
And, in case you are wondering, the friend who had the surgery is doing very well. God is good!