Monday, January 2, 2012

The Givers and the Takers

I recently had something happen to me that highlighted the fact that there are givers and there are takers in this life.

Just before Christmas, on Wednesday night, I locked up the house and left for church. My son had been sitting on my bed with my laptop watching his endless basketball replays on YouTube and my other son shut down the Wii to head off to youth group. It was a typical Christmas break afternoon. My younger son was having a friend to stay the night, so an hour and fifteen minutes later we all trooped back into the house visiting with the father of the other boy and everyone headed off to settle into their favorite activities.

First came the request, "Mom, where's your laptop?"

I looked at him. "It's back on my bed where you left it."

He frowned. "I don't see it. I'll go look again."

At this point I'm still clueless as I continue to visit with our guests' father. But he left only a moment later and since my son still couldn't find the laptop I got up to go show him where he'd left it.

Not so much.

We'd been robbed. It was only a moment later that we realized the Wii and a few other small things were missing including one Christmas present - more on that later.

After calling the police and giving them a report we all felt a little numb. There were no signs of forced entry. So we surmise that my oldest son's key that he lost a few months back wasn't really lost, but taken by one of his friends who sadly has fallen into drugs and been in and out of Juvey several times already in his 15 years. Just a guess and nothing has been recovered, however something else happened after this and that is what I want the focus of this post to be.

The word got out, of course, and a friend of mine put out a request for donations on Facebook. It was quite humbling a few days later when they brought by the donations they'd collected, and told us that someone had offered to buy us a new laptop, as well. Over the next few days donations continued to come in and our family was simply blown away by the contrast of the two actions.

On the one hand you have someone who goes into another person's home to take what is not theirs. And on the other hand, you have those who have not been wronged in any way but who are willing to take on part of the burden anyway.

I don't know about you, but I want to fall into the latter group.

And I got to thinking about this - how it should apply to my writing career. We all know that as writers we have to self-promote. And sometimes that involves recruiting the assistance of others. But let us be careful to remember to be givers first, and then the help we need will come.

There are a lot of other writers out there whose books I really do enjoy. So this year, I plan to be a giver - I'm committing myself to helping others along this writing journey - whether with promotion, or information, or advice.

Interestingly enough, the one Christmas present that was stolen, ended up being a Bible. And whoever broke into our house now has our whole church praying for them (and I hope you, now too.) So more good than has already happened may come from this, yet. And I'm reminded of a verse - Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

He certainly has for me this year. And I know I can move ahead into this new year, with my future completely assured.

Happy New Year, everyone.
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