Sunday, December 27, 2009

Merry Christmas - Paying it Forward

In my last post, I wrote about buying cigarettes for a stranger. What a great story we'll have to tell for a long time and it's a fun memory of Christmas Day 2009.

It's not necessarily easy to be gracious and generous in today's world. We worry so much about people taking advantage of us and we've gotten really cynical about those that might need a little extra help. We're so concerned with making a few bucks and saving a few bucks that we forget to take care of anyone.

I decided to come up to the cabin today and spend some time processing on a new blog (announcement hopefully will come this week) and the information for the next series on my Pour Out a Blessing blog. I need to finish a personal story for an application and start working on some other things that are coming up as well.

The roads all looked good for the trip to the cabin and I had communicated with my friends up here so they knew I was coming and off I went.

I hit the interstate and pulled up to speed and my Jeep started shaking terribly. Wow. This isn't good. I pulled off the next exit, turned around and drove the interstate back to my exit. Yup, shaking over 65 mph. Unhappy Diane. I called Max and as we spoke, I thought about the fact that I'd been driving in tons of snow, none of it had melted and I wondered if I needed to deal with the snow in my tires. I tried to go to a car wash, but it was closed, however ... Jiffy Lube was open.

I pulled in, told the guys what was going on. They pulled the Jeep into a bay, chipped off a ton of ice and blew the snow out of my tires. The guys played with Leica (my dachshund) for awhile and then escorted me to my car. They had checked tire pressure and figured that everything should be good to go. Yes, ice and snow packed into the tire area will knock them out of balance.

"How much do I owe you?"

"Not a thing, consider it a Christmas gift. Let us know if you have any more trouble.

Wow! I was stunned. Owning a business in Omaha for 20+ years taught me a lot about cynical behavior. No one does much of anything without getting cash. I have been re-learning how to live among generous, gracious people as I've spent more time away from the city. Today though, I was grateful and surprised at the generous treatment I got.

When I pulled back onto the Interstate, my Jeep drove smoothly and I was off. The interstates were clear, the highways were drive-able and when I pulled up to the cabin, I discovered that my friends up here had plowed my drive for me again, knowing I was coming.

How can I ever justify being stingy or cynical? I have received innumerable blessings in my life. I received incredible blessings just today! Buying two packs of cigarettes for a guy doesn't seem like I've done nearly enough to pay it forward.

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