It is better to give than to receive. That’s what I was told from the time I hung my tights up for Santa to fill, thinking I would get twice as much because I had TWO LEGS available.
This is the time of year that people think about giving. I know I do. I put my loose change or single dollars in the Red Kettles. I donate to my favorite charities. I buy a Christmas dinner for the Outreach family assigned to me, and buy and wrap gifts for a needy family that I plucked from an Angel Tree. I volunteer more. I plan, shop, buy, and wrap the gifts I give to my loved ones.
Yet, I have been thinking lately how difficult it is to receive.
When I was working on my National Board Teaching Certification I got a good lesson in receiving. At first, I did not want to accept any help. This is what I thought, “This is something I chose to do. It is my problem, and I need to do it on my own.” Hoo-boy. Call me humbled when my videos didn’t turn out, my grammar was questionable, and my entries didn’t “flow.”
I learned to accept help from parents who would come into the classroom (on my time schedule and at the last minute), set up the camera, tape, go home and transfer it to a cassette (olden days), and then do it all over again because I looked like an incompetent fool, a kid was picking her nose, AND the sound went out. I learned to accept help from colleagues who had gone through the process, and would read and critique entries. I learned to accept help from my fellow carpool-mate and best friend who would listen, cognitive coach me, and drive on the days I was a basket case. I learned to accept help from the greatly generous parent who edited, ad nauseum, my copious entries, and got them down to the acceptable and grammatically correct length. I felt vulnerable and needy.
There’s the rub. Humility is a very difficult virtue to attain. We think we are driving the bus. News Flash: We are not.
God loves a cheerful giver. He doesn’t say anything about being a cheerful receiver, though I think he loves them, too.