The last Saturday of August. The end of summer, but not the end of the heat here in the central San Joaquin Valley. Our days will get shorter, which makes for lower temperatures, but it will stay warm until Halloween. Maybe it will rain, but I’m not counting on it. It appears God is trying to get our attention, but the majority of the folk go on about their usual way of doing things with their stingy attitudes.
For my dear Readers who live in other countries, you may have not heard that our President is declaring a $10,000 pay-off of college debt for those who have been under this burden for so long. It is a great thing to do in a country as rich as America where big business and wealthy citizens get so many bonuses and breaks. But, there are the naysayers, which makes no sense to me.
I had no college debt. I went to college in the 1970s when costs were much lower, on a full-ride scholarship from the state of California. I received this full-ride scholarship because my parents were landowners in California and I was first-generation college-bound. I had to maintain a 3.0 gpa, attend a state-funded college, and finish in four years. I did, and did, and did. My father had died when I was in high school so I also received survivor social security benefits, fulfilling the requirements by maintaining the 3.0 gpa, and finishing by the time I was 22.
I lived at home. My mother took very good care of me: cooking, cleaning, doing my laundry. My job was to go to school and fulfill those requirements for financial aid. I am very thankful for the privilege I had and the fact that the government paid for my eduction. I would be very happy to pay that forward and see that other students receive an equal shot at a good education. I don’t understand those who are grumbling. Yes, they were able to pay their debt. Good for them. Be thankful and willing to share.
A previous colleague from my teaching days posted a good parable to Facebook this morning –Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead was a slap in the face to everyone who had already died. My reply was about the little boy whose lunch fed 5,000.
All those people had followed Jesus way out in the countryside to hear what he had to say, maybe see some miracles, but had neglected to pack a lunch. When it was time to eat, Jesus was going to send his disciples to get food, but they found a boy with a few fish and some bread who was willing to share. That’s all there was, so the disciples told Jesus to send the people home. No, Jesus would feed them. “Have them sit down.” He blessed the boy’s lunch, they passed out the food, feeding 5,000, and gathering up 12 baskets of leftovers.
One generous boy turning it all over to share the best he could. Why can’t we be more like that? Just trusting that our “little” could be made big. My children’s story for church tomorrow is about generosity. The boy and his lunch is my reference point.