Paying It Forward: December 2018


In the movie, “Pay it Forward”, released in 2000 a 12year old boy puts into action a challenging social studies assignment to “think of an idea that will change the world for the better”.

His experiment has a profound effect on those who are the lucky subjects of a domino-like phenomenon of simple and in some cases, profound acts of human kindness.

With all of the bad reports portrayed in the news today, I loved that this movie reminded us that there truly is a lot of good news out there in the world. It also shines forth as a model of how just one person can make a difference for many.

I had a recent experience of this idea just the other day. I received a call from a friend asking if we would like some elk meat from a recent hunt. As we depend on wild game to supplement our diet and had thus far been unsuccessful in our hunting pursuits, this kind offer was readily accepted. As we were leaving, I expressed how appreciative we were, saying, “I just can’t thank you enough. You have no idea how much we needed this meat.” To which she replied, “Hey no problem. Happy to help. Maybe you’ll have an opportunity to pay it forward.”

And just a few days later that opportunity presented itself. After butchering and wrapping nearly 100 pounds of meat, a neighbor who also knew that we had not gotten an elk (but did not know that someone had given us half of one) came by with another haunch of elk meat as well as a box of already butchered and wrapped choice cuts. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that our freezer was now full to capacity as he was obviously blessed at being able to share from his labor.

As he drove away I thought of my friend’s suggestion that I pay it forward. While contemplating just how I could do so, I was reminded of another friend of ours who had been diligently hunting throughout the fall with his two young sons. Unfortunately they had not harvested any game yet and as the season was due to end in just a couple days his prospects were looking pretty slim. When I called him to offer the elk we received from the neighbor he was eager and more than appreciative to accept this second hand gift.

Thus I was able to be a source of blessing to those who so generously gave to us, (fulfilling the adage, “It is more blessed to give than to receive”.) I was also able to enjoy the blessing of being able to pay it forward to someone else in need. I indeed felt doubly – no – triplely blessed in the deal.

With the Christmas season – AKA, the season of giving – just around the corner I want to be on the lookout for more opportunities to pay it forward and I would challenge you to do the same in whatever way you are able.

We may not have the monetary means this year to buy many gifts but we do have an abundance of food that will be fun to share as we offer the experience of meals prepared and served in our home. Is there anything better than time spent around a table with friends – The gift of hospitality, food and fellowship? How’s that for a triple blessing?!



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