Today I decided on a theme for my 40-day project.
If you read yesterday’s post, you know that I’m turning 40 on July 31st. Contrary to the rumors and stereotypes I’ve listened to for most of my life, I’m not worried or upset it. I’m looking forward to it. Even checking the next set of age boxes on the Sunday morning bulletin. Age is, after all, a gift. Just ask the woman diagnosed with a terminal illness or the parent who’s lost a child. To grow old is a privilege. And even though 40 isn’t ancient, it’s a milestone.
For a while now I’ve been trying to come up with a way to celebrate it. At the end of 2010, I decide to run another half marathon for my 40th. And so I signed up to do the Denver Rock-n-Roll on October 9. I might even do another one or two in August and September.
That’s all well and good. But a race is all about me. I wanted to do something for my 40th that had very little to do with myself.
Thus 40 days of giving.
But back to the theme …
This morning I woke up asking God for ideas about today’s gift. “Who do you want me to reach out to? What do you want me to do?” I then added for good measure, “Make sure I don’t forget!” I have great intentions, but my follow through can be less than.
After getting up early, I dressed and headed out to meet a friend for coffee. On my way, she texted me to say she’d be late. Car trouble. A car always, always breaks down when you have some place you need to be. I swear cars know this and do it on purpose.
So, she was going to be late. No problem. But then God nudged me with an idea: Ask her what she wants for breakfast, buy it and have it ready for when she arrives. She’s been through enough already today.
Ooooh, great idea! My gift for the day!
So I did. And we had a good time. One problem, though.
It was too easy. She’s a friend, a good friend. I’d buy her breakfast any time, and she’d do the same for me. We have that kind of friendship. My gift didn’t feel like a sacrifice or a stretch in any way. It was a good thing, but it didn’t feel like it should count.
That’s when I came up with a theme, and it had a lot to do with the guy in the airport and the woman in the Starbucks drive through line. Both of those strangers offered me an unexpected grace. A kindness I didn’t anticipate, a gift I didn’t do anything to deserve. That’s what inspired me.
Yes, that’s what this is all about.
I’m ready for tomorrow.