While on the shop and street I gazed
My body of a sudden blazed;
And twenty minutes more or less
It seemed, so great my happiness
That I was blessed and could bless.
I’ve been reading a book ,“ 8 habits of love” by Ed Bacon. The first habit is GENEROSITY. He tells a story of the mighty Jordan River. It flows along the eastern border of Israel/Palestine, giving life to two bodies of water, the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea.
The Sea of Galilee has Vitality. Everywhere you look there is activity. People are fishing, boating and waterskiing. Sixty five miles to the south lays the Dead Sea – It has no vitality, it is “dead”. The reason for this contrast is simple; the Jordan River flows both into and out of the Sea of Galilee. Inflow and outflow. Receiving and giving. The river flows into the Dead Sea but has no outflow.
The human spirit is just like the seas, in order for life and energy it needs inflow and outflow. When love flows from within us, more flows in. When we open our hearts to love, we not only spread that love to others but also open ourselves to receiving love from others. Our outflow, determines our inflow. The more we give, the more we receive.
What can stop generosity? Fear. When we respond to others anxiously we become reactive and close minded. Science tells us that when we feel fear, blood automatically leaves the part of our brain that thinks and creates and make choices and floods the part of our brain that makes automatic fight or flight decisions.
There is a deep inner sanctuary in every one of us where this fear cannot dwell- when we connect our spirit to God. Generosity means giving of our time, resources and energies. It also means giving people the benefit of the doubt, being able and willing to see the world from another’s perspective. It’s about blessing others with our thoughts and deeds. These blessings flow back to us in many ways. Everyone has the capacity to be affluent spiritually. To “FLOW” is the root of the word affluent.
One way of looking at this habit is to understand that every act of generosity is in fact a blessing! When a person blesses another, Christ’s love is transferred. This love of Christ “His Light” transfers and all doubt and fear leave. You and I can change the hearts of others by letting Christ’s love flow from us- generously and unselfishly to another.
I pray for you and your companions. I hope you find little things every day to give generously. May your gratitude fill you with Thanksgiving daily and the blessings return to you abundantly.