From time to time, we have experiences that boost our faith. They put a little pep in our step. As I have shared this story with others, they too have had their faith strengthened. So, I don’t share this story to brag in any way, but to build up your faith!
If you have followed me for any time, or read my books, I have been very open about my journey to overcome my scarcity mindset. In summary, I have believed this lie dating back to my teenage years, that I will only have “just enough,” but never more, and especially nothing of abundance. I am working towards an abundant mindset and this story helped!
A few weeks ago, I drove to South Carolina for work and added a personal trip to the end of it. For work, I drove to Pawleys Island, SC for a Five Capitals Coaches Summit, and then I left there to drive to Columbia, SC to spend the weekend with my oldest daughter at college.
Since I left Cincinnati later in the day, I decided I would break up the 10-hour drive and spend the night in Asheville, NC. When I got to Asheville, I walked to Wicked Weed to have dinner. It was a beautiful night to sit on their patio, eat some good food, have a couple of beers, and do some thinking about my life and business.
While I was enjoying my time, I couldn’t help but overhear the table next to me talking. Based on comments overheard, and appearances, it appeared to be a couple in their 60s, with their mid-20s daughter, and her newborn baby.
As they talked, I heard words such as ‘deployed’, ‘faith’, ‘it’s been hard’, and ‘the small group has helped.’ So, I pieced together the idea that she was talking with her parents, about how it was hard having her husband deployed, while she raised their baby on her own. However, faith and small group have made it all manageable. Now, I have no idea how much of it was true, but the story was giving me compassion for all involved.
When my dinner was over, I paid my bill and walked into the restaurant to use the bathroom before I walked back to the hotel. While in the bathroom, I got this prompting to pay for their meal. My first thought was ‘no’! Then my second thought had more reasons for my ‘no’ - they had appetizers, they had beer, it was three adults, and the list went on. However, I couldn’t shake the prompting to buy their meal. I was also starting to not want to shake it, but be obedient and buy their meal.
As I walked out of the bathroom, I see the waitress for both of our tables walk back into the kitchen. I stood there for a minute, but I don’t know if she was on a smoke break or what, but she was gone for what seemed like 10 minutes. While I was there, numerous staff members asked if they could help and I kept telling them ‘no, just want to speak with my waitress, but it was all good.’ During that whole time, I kept thinking about walking away but yet didn’t.
Finally, the waitress came out and I told her I wanted to buy the family’s meal. The bill was $75 and I tipped $25. So the total was $100. I share that for context for the second part of the story!
Where can you be bold generously?
As I left the restaurant, I had to walk by their table, but I didn’t say anything, other than just a huge internal smile!
For the next few days, nothing miraculous happened, my life didn’t change and I still had ups and downs. As each day went by, I actually forgot about buying their meal and was moving on to other things until the story picks back up again.
On Saturday of that week, I had the opportunity and blessing to give the ‘Rise and Go’ keynote at this Summit to close out the conference. The plan was to give this talk, and then I would have to race out of there to drive to Columbia, SC in order to see my daughter and meet some people for a late lunch.
After I gave my talk and said my goodbyes, I was exiting the building and a man walked up to me. I had seen this man at the conference over the last few days but didn’t have any real long conversations with him. He asked if he could get another copy of my book, ‘Rise and Go’ and he would pay for it. I told him he didn’t have to pay for it, and as I was giving him the book, he was giving me a wad of money. I tried to say no and give it back, but he insisted. He said, ‘Take your wife out to eat and tell her thanks for letting you write this book and work on this message, as it is really good and will help many leaders, so thanks to you and her.’
I said ‘thanks’ and ran to the car to drive to Columbia. When I sat in the driver’s seat, I counted the money. $140!! I started to weep and cry out thanks to God for his love. I then started to laugh because the phrase ‘You can’t outgive God’ came to my mind! I spent $100 on the family's meal, yet was randomly given $140.
God gave more!
So two questions for you to ponder:
Where has God shown up in your life recently? List it out and give thanks
Where can you be bold generously? Maybe buy a meal, donate money, or something else. Look to be bold in the next week and see how God responds!