Steve and I enjoy to go out on dates together. We keep it simple - usually just a dinner at one of our favorite local restaurants like T-Bones or The Common Man (NH restaurant chains, quite yummy) - because while we enjoy good food the part of the date that's more important is just spending time together, enjoying each other's company. It's rare for us to be one of those couples over dinner who barely ever speaks to each other; in fact, we always have some of our best discussions over a good meal.
One of the things that can sometimes happen when we hit a natural lull in a conversation is that Steve will come out with a hypothetical question for us to ponder. You know the type - the "If you were on a deserted island and could only have one book and one CD" or "If you got a round-trip ticket to anywhere in the world, where would you go" kinds of questions. These questions are always fun for us for a few reasons; for one it challenges us to stretch our imaginations. There are no limits with these questions so we can always think big and have fun with our answers.
"If you..." Steve began as he cut off a piece of salmon. I smiled because I knew what was coming.
"If you were given $10,000 that you HAVE to spend by the end of the day - and you can't give any of it away - and it's noon... what do you do with it?"
I thought about it for a while. I'd buy a new computer... I'd go to a travel agency and get us a week to an all-inclusive... I'd go to New Balance and stock up on the sneakers that Steve really likes...
So I thought some more. Everything I thought of after a new computer or vacation was either not worth much money in the grand scheme of $10,000 (new GOOD shoes still only ran me $500)... I could not come up with $10,000 worth of stuff that I would want to do for myself. Gift cards for family members who could use a lift... nope. I was reminded that was giving it away. I really, really struggled.
When I finally (15 minutes later) "spent" all the money - I tossed the question back at Steve. My initial thought was that he would have an easier time with it than I did. I was wrong!
"I'd get myself a new computer. I'd get you a new computer..."
"Nope! That's giving it away! You can't do that either!"
While he was able to answer the question quicker than I did (7 minutes or so), he still had a hard time not doing something for someone else with this "money".
This led me to think about something. We have always heard the old addage that "It is better to give than to receive." There are lots and lots of places in scripture where we are encouraged and urged to be generous with our resources. We feel a sense of goodness in our hearts when we give to others - it can be anything from a large donation of our funds to a small token like a candy bar to a sad child.
It becomes obvious that generosity is in our very nature as human beings. Generosity is part of love, and we are by nature creatures who crave giving and receiving love. God wants us to love each other, and love him - so it is obvious to me that we are wired to be giving of ourselves in many ways. Our time. Our finances. Our resources. Our hearts.
Would it be difficult for you to answer that same question?
If you were given $10,000 that you HAVE to spend by the end of the day - and you can't give any of it away - and it's already noon... what do you do with it?