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Pay It Forward: From Roots To Fruit

REFLECTIONS by Jane[su_dropcap style=”flat”]T[/su_dropcap]ODAY, April 28, 2016, is Pay It Forward Day. You might not even realize it, because it isn’t advertised on television, I haven’t seen one billboard, and nobody has handed me a flyer proclaiming a day of the year set aside to Pay-It-Forward. Here’s why I think that’s the way it should be. Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we practiced kindness every day, just because we can?

You know, the Pay It Forward concept may have been birthed when the movie by that same title came out in 2000, but the secular movie simply advocated for actions deeply rooted in ancient Biblical principles.

Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act. – Proverbs 3:27

Treat others in the same way that you would want them to treat you. – Luke 6:31

Are any of you wise or understanding? Then show it by your conduct, doing good deeds, and by being humble and wise in everything you do. – James 3:13

 

Here’s the thing. Without roots, nothing grows. Without roots there are no feeding channels to distribute nutrients. Without roots, stability is lost. Roots are like the anchor for life. But here’s another thing about roots, well, most roots anyway – they are tangled, messy, deep, and hidden. That’s a little inside view of our lives, isn’t it? If all we had were roots, there wouldn’t be much to look at and there would be even less to enjoy. Think about a landscape with nothing special to look at, even though there was energy, nutrients, and incredible potential living under the surface.

good personInstead, creation gives us thousands of different trees all with unique bark and leaves. Scientist tell us there are over 400,000 species of flowering plants. Then add vegetables and fruits – and that’s life. Pay It Forward is as old as creation. What we plant, grows roots. What is at the root grows fruit and it isn’t just one root for one fruit. The fruit of the root is multiplied many times. A single seed, grows by dividing itself, then bursts forth arrayed in beautiful color. You might remember a parable in the Bible about seed that fell on good ground and grew prolifically. “A few seeds fell on good ground where the plants produced a hundred or sixty or thirty times as much as was scattered.”

This story is more than a lesson in botany though. It’s a life lesson. We are like those resilient, magnificent seeds. What we put into our minds goes deep into our souls, the root of ourselves. What we display to the world through attitude and actions grows from our roots. We live best when we feed our roots nutrients of positive thought, integrity, truth, knowledge, hope, love, and sound character. Unless you live in a cave, the fruit of the roots you have nurtured will show up in all the places that matter. Home, work, school, church, waiting in line at the store, pumping gas in the pouring rain, being patient when the food you ordered is all wrong or when the car ahead of you won’t get out of your lane.

your thoughtsThe fruit of your roots shows up in compassion, generosity, creative giving, donating money, listening, praying, sharing, volunteering time – and for each of them, there are opportunities right now within your family and somewhere in your community or circle of friends. Take a moment right now to concentrate on the simple concept of Pay It Forward.

What could you do today and in the days that follow to show kindness to others? Remember, kindness isn’t opening your wallet, it’s opening your heart. Sometimes, you might be able to pay for an entire meal at a restaurant, other times you can let a family with a very large grocery order go ahead of you at the grocery store. Sometimes you can volunteer an entire weekend of respite care for a family under hospice; other times you can offer 2 hours of babysitting so a young mom can have some alone time. Sometimes you can buy a Starbucks card and leave it for the next person who drives up to the gas pump; other times you can offer a cup of coffee and friendship in your own kitchen. You see for every act there are options – and there are opportunities all around us to share kindness – we choose.

If you see someone without a smile, share yours.

This is Pay It Forward Day. Reading this article might be your only clue that there is a designated day to perform an act of kindness without expecting anything in return. We don’t need a designated day. What we need is a mindset that reminds us to pour into others, the food of human kindness so it goes down deep into their roots and produces “a hundred or sixty or thirty times as much”.

Carefully guard your thoughts and your heart because everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23

Today, tomorrow, next month, next year and in the years to come:

[bctt tweet=”Start where you are or start over – never stop feeding the roots of human kindness by pouring from your own fruit into the hearts of others.” username=”bizmastersglobal”]

We shared some easy ideas to Pay It Forward here:

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Jane Anderson
Jane Andersonhttp://refininggrace.com/
JANE’s professional experience is scattered across industries from financial services and insurance to engineering and manufacturing. Jane sees her background in writing and editing website content as the foundation to her current love of social media. Being an avid reader, meticulous note taker and lifelong learner has fostered her natural pursuit of sharing her world through writing. Reading books and summarizing content started as a hobby and has since grown to be a major part of her vocational experience. Jane says, “Authors pour their heart and soul into writing their book. When I write a review, it’s with intent to celebrate the book and promote the author.” Jane claims to be 'the best follower you'll ever want to meet' and has been repeatedly called servant leader, eternal cheerleader, social media evangelist, and inspirational go-to person. Jane is a contributing author to the inspiring book Chaos to Clarity: Sacred Stories of Transformational Change.

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4 CONVERSATIONS

  1. Dear Jane, much wisdom and enlightenment in your article. God knows our thoughts and our hearts so whatever a soul thinks is hidden because words or thoughts are not said, well, we know the answer to that. We can not get into Heaven just because we do good deeds or service, we must also believe that He who is Christ is truly the Savior. I wish that what one expresses from the heart that is good, kind in loving could be in the hearts of all mankind. As Louis Armstrong sang, “What A Wonderful World”.

    • Lynn, my sister, thank you for sharing your faith in a real way. I’m thankful that my ticket into heaven isn’t by my good deeds, but is, instead through Jesus Christ. If I had to rely on a scales being weighted with my good and bad, I would never spend eternity in heaven. I, too, with that we could live wonderful lives on Earth – and some day we will, for a time, on the New Earth before God whisks us off to heaven again for eternity. I don’t remember where that’s found in the Bible, but think it’s in Revelation.

    • Danny, I know how the head knowledge can feel like the real thing because I was there for a long time. There is no workaround or substitute for real faith and what God sees down deep in our core all the way to our roots. Thank you for adding to the conversation. I am praying for the goodness of your heart to return 100 times what is there.

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