Give It Away
My favorite book by Robert Munsch has to be Ribbon Rescue.
In the story, a young girl named Jillian is given a beautiful ribbon dress from her grandma. She runs out to play in the front yard and quickly meets a man running down the road. It turns out that he is getting married that morning but can't find the church.
Jillian is about to tell him the location of the church when she notices that the man's shoes need laces. She quickly tears off two ribbons from her dress, laces the man's shoes and then shares the directions to the church. He takes off on Jillian's brother's skateboard and Jillian goes back to playing.
Shortly after, a lady runs by Jillian's home. She is the bride and can't find the church either. Jillian notices that her hair is a mess. As a result, she rips off eight ribbons from her dress and fixes the bride's hair. When she is done, Jillian gives the bride her mother's bike and tells her the churches location too.
All morning, Jillian helps other people on the way to the wedding. When her mother finds her, she is a mess and her dress is completely ruined. They make their way to the church for the wedding but Jillian is turned away at the door.
The greeter says, "What a mess! You can't come in here dressed like that!" As a result, Jillian has to sit on the steps of the church and wait for the service to be over.
Just as the wedding is about to start, the bride and the groom find Jillian all alone on the stairs. The groom marvels at his new shoelaces and the bride delights in her hair. They ask Jillian if she is coming in and she explains that she can't because she has made a mess of her dress.
The bride and groom look at one another and say, "I think we need a flower girl."
Before she knows it, Jillian is walking down the aisle with a bouquet of wildflowers. The last words in the book are: "And even though her dress was all dirty and full of holes, everyone said she was the prettiest kid there."
Isn't that beautiful? Jillian gave all of her ribbons away and ended up as the flower girl at the wedding. Definitely a surprise ending!
As I've gotten older, my thinking has changed in a number of areas.
For example, I used to think that good leaders were loud and direct. Now I think that good leaders listen more than they talk and are willing to consider other people's ideas before a decision is made.
I used to think that busyness and productivity meant I had a successful day. Now I think that simplicity and stillness are far more important for my good and the good of those I love.
I also used to think that I needed to hold tightly onto things if I wanted to keep them. Now I think it is so much better to freely give things away. When I do so, I find that I get so much more in return.
My question for you today is quite simple. What are you clinging onto right now? Is it money? If so, I encourage you to freely give some away to a local charity. Is it your time? If that is the case, "waste" some of your time with someone who needs a friend. As Henri Nouwen once said, "I used to complain about all the interruptions to my work until I realized that these interruptions were my work."
As you give these things away, the most amazing thing will happen. Somehow, someway, you will end up "richer" in the process!