By Carol Colvin
The church I attend was for many years a big supporter of the Boy Scouts of America. Every year during the “Friends of Scouting” fundraising drive, we would get a phone call from the scout leaders in our congregation requesting a donation of $100.00. We always slightly resented giving this money, especially during the years our boys were too young to benefit from the scouting program. My husband particularly hated parting with his hard-earned money to support scouting since he had absolutely hated his scouting experience as a youth.
One year the Friends of Scouting request didn’t come when it usually did, so we spent the money we would have not-so-cheerfully donated. Then, right before Christmas, the time of year when money is most scarce, the phone call came. We had to decide if we would spend the money on presents for our children or give it to the Boy Scouts. We pondered on it for a while and finally chose to give the Scouts the money, trusting that if the church was asking, they had God’s blessing to make the request, and God would honor our choice to be generous. We certainly did it for God and not the Boy Scouts of America.
We didn’t expect to receive anything from the Boy Scouts. We really didn’t expect any monetary blessings from God, either. We had learned years earlier that blessings from God came in many different forms. We did hope and believe that if we got in a pinch and needed that $100.00 for something important, God would make sure we got it.
Just a few days after we handed a $100.00 check to our congregation’s BSA representative, Gary got a phone call from his friend Arlan, who wanted to hire him to do a computer installation job. Gary spent half his next Saturday doing the work and was paid about $800.00. Christmas went off as planned. I think back to this experience and wonder if I would have noticed the hand of God in our life that year if we hadn’t donated the money to the scouts. If we’d spent the $100.00 on stocking stuffers for our kids, would we have received the miracle of that weekend job? If it would have come anyway, would we have known it for the miracle it was? I don’t know. But I’m glad we decided to be generous and send our money out so that we felt the need of it and were watching when it came back multiplied eightfold.
I have not worried about being compensated for my generosity by the universal storehouse of light, love, and intelligence since that long ago Boy Scout fundraiser. I have improved my attitude about giving as well. I will tell on my husband a bit here, though. He is really happy that our church no longer asks us for money to support Friends of Scouting. He must have really hated those campouts!
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