Paying it forward, one quarter at a time
To get a cart at our local grocery store you have to put a quarter in that thing on the handle. I guess it’s used to keep all the carts in one place to make it easier for their employees to collect them. A few months ago, I decided to do a little experiment and leave my quarter in the cart. *gasp* Seriously, it’s silly, I know. It started because I realized I had about 5 pounds of coins in my car’s console. I thought, not everyone has 5 pounds of coins in their console or even just that one quarter, so I left it. Since then, It’s become my mini pay-it-forward.
Most of the time this little bitty blessing probably goes unnoticed, and that’s the idea. Once, a man called to me across the parking lot to tell me I’d left a quarter. I said, I know. I left it for anyone who might need it. So he ran back and took it. I just laughed. Sometimes I’ll just give the cart to the closest person I see. They always offer me their quarter and I wave them off and say it’s on me. But my favorite, secret joy happens on days like today.
I forgot my quarter.
I’d parked kind of far away this morning, left my purse in the car and just grabbed my keys and cell phone. I got to the carts and stopped. Shoot. No quarter. I stood for a minute and said, okay God. I waited as everyone at the carts walked away. And there it was – one cart, chain unattached, no quarter necessary, just waiting for me. I reaped the blessing of my 25 cent seed!
Please understand, I do not believe my God is a slot machine or a genie in a bottle. But my God shall supply ALL of my needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). And today, my need was a cart or a quarter. I didn’t ask for either, but knew He was going to show off for me this morning so I just waited a minute and trusted. A skeptic might say the odds were in my favor. I will tell you, it’s not the first time it’s happened. I’ve gotten out of my car knowing I didn’t have a quarter and knew He would make provision for me.
‘Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.’ Luke 6:38
That is such a great visual. “Running over, poured into your lap…” Overflow. God wants to bless us with overflow. But not just in grocery carts and quarters. He’ll bless us with overflow of thankfulness (Colossians 2:7), compassion (Hosea 11:8), confident hope in the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13), redemption (Psalm 130:7), joy (John 15:11), love (1 Thessalonians 3:12), and more.
Put Me to the test!
Normally, I wouldn’t discuss my giving because I know God sees what I do in secret (Matthew 6:4), but I want to challenge you. It can start with something as simple as leaving a quarter. It’s never wrong to give. And you cannot out give God.
We are each,