Pay It Forward…

It was a hot day, as I drove to church this week. I looked at the gas gauge. Yes, I need to purchase gas. I pulled into the parking lot, and a car blocked my usual pump. Quickly I pulled to one pump I never use. I took the nozzle down and inserted it in the tank. I wondered why there was no choice to ‘pay inside’. I filled up the tank, and went inside to pay. There I was told that it was paid for. The young man asked if I had used my card. I replied negatively. Pay it forward, I thought.

A variety of feelings and thoughts filled my mind. I am special, I am loved, and then who? Why? I have never encountered or experienced a feeling like this. I remembered the young boy in the movie, “Pay It Forward”. I turned the phrase over in my mind and wondered if the ‘pay’ has to be just money.

Suddenly I thought of the ways that people lived that phrase, pay it forward.

My parents paid it forward by their patient teaching and discipline. Sometimes the discipline seemed harsh. I remember when we wanted new parents…and Dad and Mom drove us to another part of town, and asked us which place we wanted to live. We soon realized that Home was Home.

“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you. Exodus 20:12

I thought of those words as we watched our children work so hard to help us with our moving plans. They were paying it forward, and teaching their children to honor their parents, even as we learned from our parents.

In what ways can pay it forward be accomplished? What characteristics or traits are necessary to pay it forward? Unconditional love, forgiveness, kindness, gentleness, sacrifice, concern about others, patience and kindness.

Pay it Forward is a ‘pouring out’ from the heart. It is a result of love that is compelling. There are so many ways to pour out one’s heart. How many people go beyond the paycheck and use their jobs and livelihoods to pay It forward? Doctors, policemen, teachers, nurses, ministers, care-givers and many more give that extra consideration, that encouragement that is paying it forward! It is a privilege and not a duty. ˆPaying it Forward” has its own kind of joy and blessing. Why is this? What happens to the heart when we pay it forward?

Have you ever given something precious away? What an investment in another’s life! What a feeling of peace and joy comes over us. When we consider the ‘it’ in pay IT forward, we see that this tiny two-letter pronoun has many meanings, enough to go around for all of us in many situations to create a rainbow of blessings.

The love that motivates ‘paying it forward’ has a compelling genesis. The one person who paid it forward gave His life on the cross – paying it forward for a debt He did not owe. Jesus was compelled by love for us, God’s children – precious in His sight – so that we might live for Him and with Him for an eternity.

Heaven is filled with “Pay it Forward” people who have learned through the example of Jesus to pour their lives out.

In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ” Acts 20:35

For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. (Apostle Paul) II Timothy 4:5-7

And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 5:5

But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. Philippians 2:17