Something interesting happened to me today. I was sitting in the apartment thinking about how blessed Laura and I have been. We recently experienced the generosity of family and friends at a baby shower that provided us with many wonderful things to use when our son is born. Basically, we have been on the receiving end of generosity many times and we are exceedingly grateful for the family and friends who have given so much to us. I was reflecting on that generosity this morning and thanking God for His incredible provision when I decided to go get my car washed. My midget car (aka a Honda Fit, aka Midnight Junior) was in dire need of some attention so I took it down the street to a full service car wash to give it an early Christmas gift.
This is one of those car wash places where you go through the wash, and then if you pay for the full service wash they also give the car a quick vacuuming and window cleaning. That’s the one I chose since the floor mats had the remnants of a plethora of ground up autumn leaves on them. I went through the wash and pulled around to the detailing area. Keep in mind, this is not one of those $100 detailing jobs. The whole thing cost less than $10. A man who looked to be in his mid 40s directed me to his station and I got out to sit in the waiting area while he finished cleaning my car. I sat in the waiting area checking Facebook and email on my iPad while I waited for him to signal me that my car was finished.
That was when I noticed it. The sign above the detailing stations that said tips were appreciated. I got out my wallet to look at what I had in the way of cash. In the past I probably would have had nothing, but since Laura and I started using a cash system for our groceries I usually do have a little cash on me. When I opened my wallet I was faced with a conundrum. I had three twenties and a one dollar bill. Basically that was what remained of the grocery budget for the month. I reached for the one dollar bill but couldn’t bring myself to pull it out. Laura and I have always tried to be generous tippers, but this was a lot of money! Honestly, a dollar tip would have still been over ten percent of what I paid.
I sat there in the waiting area wondering what I should do. I began to think about how just a little earlier in the morning I had been contemplating about how the generosity of others had been a great blessing. I had thanked God for that generosity. I had no idea that shortly I would have an opportunity to be stingy or to be a blessing to someone in the same way that so many had been a blessing to me. I thought about it a bit longer. I looked at the iPad I had in my hands, another gift from generous people. I made a decision.
When the man in his mid 40s signaled that my car was done, I walked out and handed him the twenty. I looked him in the eye and told him “Merry Christmas” and got in my car and drove off.
Why do I share this today? It’s not to show my own generosity, but to hopefully inspire some of you to be a blessing to someone this Christmas as well. Laura and I have been extremely blessed and I know that many of you have experienced great blessings in your lives as well. Many of us have far more than we could ever need and yet when faced with an opportunity to be stingy or generous with a tip or gift, how often to we choose to be stingy? So, this Christmas season as we reflect on the incredible gift of Jesus, family, and friends I wonder if you too will choose to bless someone? In the week that remains between now and Christmas I’m sure that most of us will have an opportunity to bless someone. I hope that when I get just such an opportunity again that there won’t be nearly as great a battle as to whether I should be generous or stingy. My Savior was and is generous so why shouldn’t I strive to do the same?