Giving Versus receiving

It is more blessed to give than to receive.   (Acts 20:35)

This is an often quoted verse from The Holy Bible. Books of the world's other great religions contain very similar verses. However, most of us cannot simply read this verse and know it to be true. Get, get, get is obviously a better approach! Try teaching this verse to a young child on Christmas day if you like challenges!

Consequently, many humans are like the "Show me" state of Missouri, in that they have difficulty simply believing what they read or hear. Give us a sign! Just show me! Thus, many of us are condemned to learning through experience, which is oftentimes called the "hard way" or the "school of hard knocks." Sometimes we run out of time before learning many lessons. When we get old, we can read Bible verses and say, "That is so true." Many years ago when we read the very same verses in our youth, we probably thought, "That will be different for me, I'm too smart." Although we call the lessons hard, some are actually pleasurable. We expect our teachers to be adults, but in the real world that is not always the case. Once in awhile it is a child who teaches the adults. Such an event occurred many years ago when I lived in Houston, Texas.

There is a wonderful organization named the Make-A-Wish Foundation® whose very existence supports the verse, "It is more blessed to give than to receive." These people locate children with life-threatening medical conditions and allow them to wish for one thing they would like to have or do, then they attempt to make the "wish" come true. These wishes have included trips to Disney World, trips to the 2002 Winter Olympics, meeting favorite actors and sport stars, meeting the President of the United States, and other such things one might expect from children.

However, they were somewhat startled by a young boy's wish in the Houston area. This seven to ten year old lad who was dying from cancer, wished to be driven around in a neighborhood ice cream truck, while he handed out free ice cream to his friends and neighborhood children. I can imagine them explaining the process to him again. Are you sure you understand? You can wish for anything you desire to have or do.

He may have given it some more thought, but reached the same conclusion. If he had only one wish, and he could wish for absolutely anything in the world, it would be to hand out free ice cream to other children from a neighborhood ice cream truck.

It made the local TV news one night, as they showed this terminally ill, bald little boy with a gigantic smile on his face handing out free ice cream to other children from the back of an ice cream truck. A little boy much wiser than his years might indicate!

Certainly, some adults watching the news that night learned that:

It is more blessed to give than to receive.   (Acts 20:35)