By David Saviola, Arborbrook Financial
I can still remember the looks on people’s faces like it was yesterday. If they said anything to us at all, it was usually “uh, no thanks” with a perplexed look. Most folks just looked at us as if we were crazy and kept walking, looking back once or twice as they made their way to their car in the parking lot.
This was our main experience the day a friend of mine and I were handing out $5 bills at Walmart in Destin. Inspired by a recurring dream she had for several decades, we fulfilled a longstanding desire in her heart God had planted for decades.
Money is such an interesting tool. It is the thing many Americans work for and covet more of for the majority of our lives. Both greed and generosity abound in our society, and money is the common theme in both.
Despite this, it was extremely difficult for us to get anyone to take the $5 bill. We didn’t have a sales pitch; there was no attempt to start an awkward conversation. We simply handed out the bills and said things like, “Have a great day,” or “May God bless you.” We were most successful when patrons had their hands full of shopping bags, then we could simply shove a few bills into the bag as they walked by. Kids were great targets, as they rarely refused the free gift.
And there it was. I realized shortly after we finished what the issue was. (By then we had moved on to Publix, because Walmart threatened to call the police if we kept handing out money). “There is no free lunch,” we are told by well-meaning parents and adults trying to instill work ethic and appreciation in us.
The problem with that is, it simply isn’t true. In Romans 3, Paul writes “The free gift of God’s grace makes us right with him. Christ Jesus paid the price to set us free.” This ultimate gift of eternal freedom cannot be bought or earned; it just has to be received. That is so hard for us in today’s society, but I would encourage all of us, as we come into the main season, that we celebrate this incredible free gift of God’s love, Jesus, that we do not say “no thanks” and keep walking. Don’t look back with glares of curiosity and scorn as you get to your car. Stop, even for a moment, and receive that gift your Heavenly Father has for you. His $5 bills are worth receiving.