Rev. Toni Fish, Associate Minister
How often do we find ourselves wanting something better, something bigger, something with more opportunity, money, stuff? And yet we walk through life listlessly day by day, saving our best efforts, our best enthusiasm and inspiration, for the next best thing that we feel we deserve. We complain about co-workers, employers, the humdrum routine of our work. If only this person or circumstance were only more supportive, we are sure we would be very happy and successful. So we go from one position or place or community to another and always we find that the new is the same as the old one. Someone, something, seems to be holding us back.
As we give, so we receive—that is the law. Giving needs to come first. If we withhold ourselves: our abilities, our enthusiasm, our joy, awaiting a greater opportunity, then the abundance itself follows that attitude….
These two stories about giving were told by Charles Fillmore, one of Unity’s co-founders in a talk he gave on March 29, 1929.
“Here is a great lesson for every one of us, that we must put the spirit of giving into our gift. If we don’t do that, it falls short of the real thing. I remember reading of a case in England. A pensioner came to the minister who was raising money to repair the church; and he counted out in silver five shillings. That is all he had, but he gave it with such an earnestness that the minister said he felt like blessing him. There was a rich merchant in the rectory at the same time, and with a great flourish he made out a check for fifty pounds. He left it and went away, but he came back the next day with a check for two hundred and fifty pounds, and he said, “Do you know why I am back with this check?” And the minister said, “No.” “Well,” he said, “I got the lesson from Uncle John,” who was the pensioner. He said, “He gave himself. He gave himself with his five shillings.” And the next day the minister called on John and he said, “Do you know how much you gave yesterday?” “Why,” he said, “I gave five shillings.” “No,” he said, “you gave two hundred and fifty pounds and five shillings.”
The way to give is to give yourself first. Once you have committed your whole self to the Flow, all else will be provided to you and returning a tithe to that Flow will be a most joyous act of giving.