George had no home. Most nights he slept at the YMCA. He owned only the clothes he wore: a shirt, a pair of pants, a pair of shoes wrapped with rubber bands to keep the soles from flapping, and a shabby coat. On cold winter mornings George would go to the police station nearby and spend the morning sitting in an old metal chair in the back. At least it was warm inside the police station.
A couple of police officers befriended Old George. They would occasionally slip him a few dollars for a cup of coffee. They found out that Billy, a nearby restaurant owner, gave Old George a hot breakfast every morning at no charge.
The police officers decided to invite George to join their families for Christmas dinner. George agreed. They even gave a few presents to George, which he unwrapped carefully. As they drove their guest back to the YMCA that evening, George asked, "Are these presents really mine ... to keep?" When the officers nodded, George asked the officers to drive by Billy's restaurant before taking him home.
When they arrived at Billy's restaurant, George had carefully re-wrapped all his presents. He tucked them under his arms and walked into the restaurant.
"You've always been real good to me, Billy," he told the man behind the counter. "Now I can be good to you." He plopped the presents down on the counter and slid them toward Billy. "Merry Christmas!" he said. Old George gave all his Christmas presents away.
That story, told by reporter Anne Keegan in the Chicago Tribune Magazine, is a true story of one man's generosity. Unfortunately, we are not often like Old George.
Old George received gifts from a couple of generous police officers and promptly chose to share them with someone else. We have received many, many gifts from God and from others, but we don't always show our gratitude by being generous to others.
Really, that's all generosity is: sharing the good things God has given you. That's what Moses offered to Hobab in today's Bible reading. "Come, be our guide," he said, "and we will share with you all the good things that the Lord does for us" (Numbers 10:32). That's what God wants us to do-to be generous with all the good things he has given us.
REFLECT: Think of some of the good things God has done for you or given to you:
Money and Possessions...
Talents, Abilities, Blessings...
Can you share any of those with others? If not, why not? If so, how?
PRAY: "Lord, remind me to share with others the many good things you have done for me, especially..."