Thanks to someone else’s misfortune, I have the express opportunity to blog today. You see, today was actually Marsha Ward’s turn, but when she announced that a scratch on her cornea would keep her from being at the computer much this week, I jumped at the opportunity to fill in for her. And, because I did, I have a chance to share wonderful news!
My ninth grandchild was born yesterday just after noon. A beautiful baby girl, she has already found her way into my heart and established her place in our family. (Isn’t it funny how it only takes seconds to have that happen, leaving you shaking your head in wonder that you seem to “know” them so quickly?)
Yet, even as I rave and brag, I’m reminded that this opening and my chance to spread the word came my way because of Marsha’s mishap. So, while I am blessed to share, Marsha is missing out today.
While it’s not an extremely powerful example (and while Marsha will definitely return to blog another day!), I couldn’t help but be reminded of similar…and, also, of much grander…times when I may have won, may have triumphed, may have taken the spotlight, only because someone else stepped down, lent a hand, or otherwise helped me get there through some sacrifice or offering on their part.
Isn’t it true that, most often, our blessings come at someone else’s willingness to forfeit their time or their money or otherwise sacrifice in service to us? Isn’t it true that we are best taught, most wonderfully motivated and most impactfully loved by those who truly expect nothing in return?
In recent year, the business world has given rise to a buzz phrase, as companies are encouraged to seek for “win-win situations.”
If you were to extrapolate that out, think what would happen if, for example, you were never given a gift if the giver wasn’t first guaranteed that he or she would be “paid back” in kind. Consider what the world would be like if no one ever extended a helping hand or donated their resources without keeping a ledger of what was owed back to them. Unfortunately, that popular business practice seems to have permeated society and has even infiltrated our homes and taken root in too many hearts. Too often, like others, I am focused on what I am going to “get” rather than what I can “give.”
Now, I’m not saying that one who gives and shares “loses.” Far from it. Yet, too often, before I do the giving, before I invest the time and effort, I want a guarantee that I will win, that my book will sell, or that I will get an immediate reward for my efforts.
I want a “win-win” life. At least until I really think about it. After all, I wouldn’t trade the lessons I’ve learned in those times when I didn’t emerge a winner. I wouldn’t exchange the inexplicable joy that comes from serving anonymously. Nor would I give up the amazing change of heart that comes from loving unconditionally.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not anywhere near perfect at any of those things yet. Perhaps that’s why I’m extra grateful for small sacrifices and service in my behalf, for the many ways others around me demonstrate what I hope to become…and, especially today, for new grandbabies to give me lots of practice in giving and loving.