“There is no exercise better for the heart
than reaching down and lifting people up.”
As a young person I often heard the words “Choose your friends wisely because they will be a reflection of you and who you will become.” It is a message that still influences me and today I am blessed to be surrounded by generous service-minded friends.
It is easy to lose hope and trust in others by focusing on the news that continually highlights troubling local and world events. At times I find myself thinking somebody in power should do something about that and at least give equal time to great things that are happening. Of course that thought releases me of any responsibility. For years I have been working on what I can do to make me a better person so that I can have something to offer those seeking change. By doing this I have attracted likeminded people into my life who are making a difference.
My wife and I are firm believers in tithing. It has been one of the safest investments we have made and the return of those investments has always paid huge dividends. When we were raising our family a major part of the tithing was in being of service to others. That was when we did marriage preparation programs for engaged couples, taught a marriage course in high school and worked on a team giving Marriage Encounter weekends.
Recently my wife and I have been blessed to work with a team of four couples who are tithing their time by devoting many hours to prepare a liturgical and dinner celebration for a group of couples celebrating 2200 years of marriage. This is an event Jeanne and I dreamed of for the year of our 50th Wedding Anniversary. It is truly a phenomenal sign for us that what you give out comes back. Our efforts to elevate the Sacrament of Marriage 45 years ago are coming back to us a hundredfold. This event could not have been possible to achieve alone. It is taking a team effort to pull it together.
Another tithing gift that has come back a hundredfold is my “habit” of giving books that inspired me to family and friends. Some of these books have been on finances, others on personal and spiritual enrichment and wellness.
Over the years I have received several calls letting me know these books inspired them and initiated positive changes to create the life of abundance they seek. A recent call I received was from a 50-year-old man who implemented an investment and budget plan I suggested to him 30 years ago. He also read several of the books I gave him and implemented many of the ideas he received. He said last week he was told by his financial advisor that if he continued his present contributions he would far surpass his million dollar goal by retirement.
Tithing is a gift that can be used in several different ways and at all ages and regardless of financial means. Our grandchildren are doing this by service hours they give as a requirement of their school curriculum. Senior citizens are doing this by sharing their expertise of their lifetime career.
Our friends are doing this in many ways but one that has involved our social group is the adoption of a family in need every year at Christmas. The generosity of the group has touched many lives.
Each couple/person puts their cash contributions in a sealed envelope. The group is told the total amount collected and it is then given to the person or family in need.
Several years ago we attended a workshop by Dr Wayne Dyer on his then newly released book “Manifest Your Destiny.” He said the following “Giving and receiving are a natural function of life. The natural flow of giving and receiving can be stopped by stinginess and hoarding. The process works in the same way on a spiritual level. You send out love and kindness and it returns to you tenfold. The old saying, ‘What goes around comes around,” is much more than a pithy homily. It is a fact of the universe at all levels of awareness. In fact it is what this whole business of manifesting is all about.”