Psalm 90:1, 12
As I wrote today’s Daily, I thought about all the irrelevant things we focus on that have no impact on our spiritual development. It’s so easy for us to get entangled with the minutia; those little things thrown in our path, to keep us from maintaining the principles that are supposed to govern our lives. For those of us who are from other countries, it is difficult not to get entangled in the infamous net of avarice called, “The American Dream;” a type of greed that simply begets wanting more, more—and yet some more. We watch others to determine where we stand, so that we can base our self-esteem on whether we are doing better or worse than our neighbor. If you are happy, and know that you are a child of God, you are already doing a whole lot better than many of your neighbors!
Oseola McCarty, at 87 years old in 1995, gave her entire life savings to the University of Southern Mississippi. It was to be used as a scholarship for underprivileged students experiencing financial difficulty. For those of you who have never heard of her, Ms. McCarty, an African-American washerwoman, donated $150,000 earned from payments of one-dollar bills and coins, saved over her lifetime from washing other people clothes by hand. When her bank called her to ask how she wanted the money allocated upon her death, she told them she wanted the entire sum donated to the University of Southern Mississippi, while she was still alive.
The reason this story is so intriguing, is because, she was a woman from very humble circumstances. She lived in a tiny house in rural Mississippi; one of the few places in the U.S. where you can still find outdoor plumbing and few modern amenities. She had a black and white television, broadcasting only one channel; a rotary telephone, no car, no cell phone, and definitely no iPad; just a scotched-taped Bible and air conditioned shoes. —You know, the kind with the holes in the bottom and the toes out. Yet somehow, she was able to think about the plight of African-American students, having problems paying their tuition to stay in a college she herself had so desperately wanted to attend. When her neighbors and friends heard about the amount of money she had accumulated, they urged her to use her savings to take a cruise, or at least, a much needed vacation; however, she insisted on the scholarship. Because of her selfless act, a local businessman matched her gift to the university, increasing the gift’s value to $300,000.
When her initial gift was announced on the local evening news, it gained national attention from every conceivable type of press and publication. She appeared on several nationally syndicated talk shows, on every major network; and, was invited to the White House by the Clinton Administration. Traveling via limousines, she was given world-class accommodations at hotels, cruise ships, and so much more than the original $150,000 could have possibly bought. By Ms. McCarty’s death in 1999, there were so many other contributions to her scholarship fund that, school administrators estimated that her gift would continue helping students far into an “indefinite future.”
There may be a time in your life when you will be asked to give away what appears to be the most valuable thing in your life. Know that if the request comes from God, you will gain so much more than you could possibly imagine.
Love God, live well, love much, and laugh often. Take the time to remember, life is not that deep! Take the time to be kind and to show compassion to those who need it. Ask God for forgiveness, allow His forgiveness to take hold in your life, and forgive yourself for whatever you believe you have done. Life is so fleeting, so temporary; we waste a lot of it on irrelevancy. Today, stop for a moment, take a deep breath, and allow the breath of God to renew, and replenish your life. L.
Study Reference: Psalm 90
From: "Giving It All Away." In The Master's Hands: 365 Daily Devotions For Everyday Living.
Copyright © 2014 by Lavona E. Campbell