by Adam Kronberger / Head of School
A few months ago I was given a generous gift card to one of my favorite restaurants where I always order a “Spicy Teriyaki Chicken Bowl.” I quickly scheduled a couple of long overdue lunch appointments at a nearby location (my treat!). As I walked up to pay after my first lunch meeting, I was made aware that my gift card was not valid at that particular chain location. My hospitality of paying for the entire check just got REAL. I was required to exercise true unselfishness as I handed over cold hard cash in an unexpected way. My half-hearted sacrifice continued 2 days later at my next lunch meeting already scheduled at that same location (my treat!).
A few weeks later, I strategically planned some family errands to Keizer Station around a rare family dinner eating out (my treat!). As I proudly approached the cash register to experience the blessing of that same gift card, I was informed that my gift card was not valid at that location either. The expression on my face was a mixture of surprise, denial, and disgust. A moment of true humility came a second later as my wife gently directed my attention to the clear address on the gift card of the one location it was valid for. I was clearly to blame for not properly exercising the gift card, as the instructions had always been in plain sight.
Over a billion dollars worth of gift cards go unused each year. While that makes me feel a little better, I doubt that statistic makes the giver of those gift cards feel any better. In James 1:17, we read, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” Everything that is good in our lives comes directly from God, the source of all good gifts. How many of those gifts have we failed to exercise rightly because we don’t read the instructions? God’s word is full of guidance on how to daily enjoy and serve others with the many gifts He has given us.
Recently, with great pomp and circumstance, I enjoyed a “Spicy Teriyaki Chicken Bowl” with my wife, making full use of the gift card that had generously been given to me. This lesson has helped me to consider other gifts that I might find in my wallet, daily schedule, or constant decisions that need a little more attention to detail. May each of us not contribute to leaving “billions” of God’s gifts unused properly.
– Adam Kronberger / Head of School