The other night we had a fundraiser. We thought it would be fun to have the improv comedy group The Panic Squad perform. Our thoughts were confirmed, and the night was a big success. Everybody seemed to have a wonderful, laughter-filled evening. Before the intermission, the M.C. interviewed us about our plans to move to Honduras. The questions were great. I felt like my answers were not. I was very distracted by my daughter who, as I was holding her during the interview, whispered to me “I have to go poop.” Between trying not to laugh, praying for her to not have a bathroom tantrum, or an accident, I had a very difficult time concentrating on the interview after that. I felt very discouraged at the conclusion of it. Such a great turnout for the event and I tanked the interview.
As I was making my rounds during the intermission, talking to people about the night and our Honduras plans, I had the great pleasure of meeting many people for the first time. One person stuck out above all of the other people though. His name is Derrick and he is in 6th grade. He was with his parents and they were urging him to say something to me. With the help of his mom and dad he gave me $10 towards our mission. His mom told me that it he was so moved by what we said about Honduras that he wanted to donate his $10. She made a point of letting me know that Derrick wanted to give us the money, his own money. Not money from his parents to give to us like I give my girls to give to their Sunday school class. It was his money. I can assume by the way that Derrick’s parents were talking to me that he did not have a giant savings account. He probably had to do a lot of chores for his allowance and being the age that he is he was probably saving for a video game or a skateboard or any other number of things. Instead, he chose to donate the money to us. I was humbled to say the least. Truthfully, I do not even want to use the $10 bill from Derrick. I would rather pin it up on the wall as a constant reminder, from God through Derrick to me, to keep my heart in the right place but I feel that it would be a disservice to Derrick’s willing heart.
God showed me some important things in that conversation.
1- God can use me even when I “tank” an interview;
2- No donation is too small to make a difference;
3- I want a heart like Derrick’s.
He was so happy and nervous to meet me and donate his money to us. While talking to Derrick and his parents I could not help but think about the widow’s offering in Mark 12. It is the story of Jesus watching people put their money into an offering box. Mark 12:41 says that “many rich people put in large sums” then along comes a poor widow and she puts in two small coins that equaled a penny. After seeing this, Jesus called over his disciples and had this to say to them “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering . For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.” Derrick’s offering seemed to equal the widow’s offering. He gave all that he had and he did it with a smile on his face.
God really taught me a lesson that night. We are leaving to go on the mission field and I know that in many people’s minds we are giving up everything that we have. I also know that there are some things that I am not giving up and to be perfectly honest I don’t want to. Some things I have to give up, like my dogs – I cannot take them with me. As much as I would love to, I cannot. So, I am giving them up, not really willingly, but more out of circumstances. Some things I am not giving up because I don’t have to…yet. Thanks to technology I can take my entire music collection in a hard drive rather than having to bring (or leave behind) boxes of music. I can bring books on my tablet and not need to ship a small library. I will still be able to connect with my family and friends via Facebook, Instagram and Skype. I will be able to use those on my tablet, my computer or my smartphone. Now that brings me to this… will I be as willing to give up my electronics for the work of God as Derrick was willing to give up his money for the work of God?
It has been 3 days now and that question is still haunting me. To quote Kip Dynamite “I love technology…” I really do. I enjoy having access to everything at the tip of my fingers. I love to read the news on my phone during my lunch break, I love to text my wife during the day, I hate to love the Facebook. I like having Google voice so I can call my parents and sister without paying long distance fees. Do I enjoy these things too much? Am I really willing to sell everything and give it all to the poor or just give up most things? Am I putting electronics before God?
I pray when God asks me to give up these things I will be obedient. I say “when” because I will not have full access to all of these things in the near future. I say “when” because I have noticed in my life when I really love material things God has had a way of taking them from me. Another of my prayers is for God to help me finish the Kip Dynamite quote as a song to Jesus “I love technology but not as much as You, you see.” I pray that God will give me the heart of Derrick, my new hero.