What if I told you that you could instantly be more generous? Gas prices have suddenly dropped, leaving us all 1) surprised and 2) happy. I was filling up late last week and had a thought: what if I used this opportunity to be a better person? To make the world a better place? Maybe it was the gas fumes, maybe it was the cold, or maybe it was something more… I don’t know. But I like the math, Emily’s all for it, and it’s already proven to be really really fun.
Here’s what I’ve worked out: gas used to be like $3.80/gallon. I burn through about 20 gallons per week. Now that gas is (today, at least) $1.80/gallon, I’m instantly saving $2.00/gallon. Right? We’ve budgeted a certain amount for gas and now we’re unexpectedly spending less. And there was much rejoicing. But what to do with a small but significant bonus?
Basically, I’ve got about $35-40/week that currently resides in the “was going to pay for gas but is no longer needed at the pump” category. I figure there are one of three slots that 40 bucks could go to:
It could go to more stuff, which is probably fine to some extent, since the kids need new lunch boxes. But, knowing myself, I would spend much of it on convenience store Twinkies, mostly because I’m glad they’re back.
It could go to savings, which is mighty fine and probably seems the most reasonable, given that most of our money is not saved but spent on Twinkies (my fault).
It could go to people who need it, which pushes against my inborn greed and invites me to participate in the life of joyful generosity. Much as I’d rather spend it or save it, at least for these next few weeks, I’m going to give it away. What could $40.00 do? It turns out quite a bit. I’ll tell stories soon, but I’d like it even more if you also would tell a few stories. Join me. In this moment of our lives, low gas prices are a generosity generator, and someone’s world might be changed through a significant shift in our economy that we may not see again for a long time. Emily and I will both be practicing this whenever we fill up our vehicles. It’ll take some fancy footwork, what with our ATM/Debit world vs. cash, but I know it can be done. After every fill up, we’ll both have (total gallons x $2) in our pockets, ready to go wherever it seems to be needed, be it one place or many. Can you imagine what might happen if a bunch of people did this? Jones and I make 2, but what if there were more? Join us.
One of the biggest limitations that pop up when it comes to generosity is a lack of funds. I would, but I can’t, so I won’t. I’ll wait until I have more. Generosity starts now. And you’ve actually got that cash — take your total gallons and multiply by $2, and it’s go time! Try it, even for one fill-up. Pray, seek, knock, saying “God, I’m not here to get, I’m here to give: show me where to give.”
That’s a great prayer.