Jim marvelled as he walked through the forest. Everywhere he looked he saw the presence of God for the first time in his life. Overwhelmed, he decided to carve a memorial to God out of a tree limb.
Lost in the wonder of God’s creation, Jim also lost track of time and didn’t realize that both darkness and the night chill were crossing his path. He hacked off the end of the limb he was working on to build a fire. Then as the night wore on and the air grew more frigid, he chopped off more and more of the limb to fuel his fire. By morning there was only a tiny stub left for his tribute.
He sadly looked at the small chunk of wood and finally tossed it onto the embers so he could make coffee.
After throwing his last bit of wood into the fire, Jim remembered his vow to God. He’d failed. He pulled the charred stub from the fire and began carving a miniature memorial from what was left. He set the tiny marker in a grassy field, but it was so small he couldn’t see it through the brush.
It comes easy enough to say that God is first, but the reality of our choices may shout otherwise. When we give God the leftovers after we’ve taken care of our own needs there is usually nothing left over to honor God. Instead of giving Him an offering we leave Him a tip.
He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver (Second Corinthians 9:6-7).