Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Challenging Challenge

This post is inspired by, and part of The $10.00 Challenge hosted by Billy Coffey and friends. I challenge you to check it out by clicking on the gift box. In a nutshell Billy has challenged us to use a $10.00 bill to make someone’s world a better place.

I started out not knowing what to do for my role in the $10.00 challenge so I did what I usually do; wing it. On a wing and a prayer I expected my challenge to introduce itself at just the right moment. It didn’t… so I tried to make it happen.

I usually don’t recommend trying to force things to happen, like the whole Abram and Sarai and Hagar deal. But this is different. Trying to find ways to bless someone is more than ok.

“Let’s buy theirs too?” I said as I spied the car in my rear view mirror.

“Buy whose, what?” My wife asked.

“Let’s pay for the people behind us. Maybe that’s my $10.00 challenge.” As I spoke I looked at the bus across the street and then at the lone driver in the car behind us in the Burger King drive through.

“Hmmm, maybe not, she’s probably buying for the entire hockey team on that bus.” We laughed and decided to do it anyway.

“We want to pay for the car behind us too.”

Deer in the headlights look from window clerk, “Huh?”

“The car behind us, we want to pay for their food as well.”

Alright mission accomplished I told myself as I inspected the receipt. I looked at the total for the car behind. $10.00 even? I wish. $100.00? No, relieved it wasn’t for the hockey team. $1.08. That’s it; One dollar and eight cents, not hardly enough to call it my ten dollar challenge.

We weren’t disappointed. We had done a good deed although not really a big deal and my challenge still challenged.

Next idea… walking out of the grocery store I usually give the bagger a buck or two, but this time I thought I’ll give him ten dollars. I looked in my pocket and seven one dollar bills stared back at me. What happened to my ten dollars? Oh well, “Merry Christmas” I said shaking the boys hand. His eyes lit up when he felt the bills in the hand I was shaking. “M- m- merry Christmas.” He said.

Another deed well done but nothing special and my challenge still challenged.

Oh this is cute.” She said holding a Walmart necklace. “TEN DOLLARS, IT AIN’T THAT DA#% CUTE” The young lady tossed the necklace aside.

“Aha. Just as I thought, my challenge has introduced itself.” I checked the price tag on the not-that-cute necklace. I couldn’t believe it, exactly ten dollars, not nine dollars and ninety-nine cents not ten dollars and some change but, ten dollars even. Wow. I reached into my pocket and grabbed my money clip…empty money clip.

The bagger at Kevin’s grocery store was holding my last seven dollars cash…Bummer. I thought I’ll run and get cash, grab the necklace, find the cussing lady, give her a ten dollar bill, the not-that-cute necklace and accomplish my mission. But, as I played out the scenario in my mind I saw the cussing lady cussing me. I figured if I went running after her I’d probably end up with a ten- dollar- black-eye for my trouble.

Mission aborted.

So, being unprepared I missed my chance to complete my mission. To avoid coming up short handed again, at the checkout counter I added forty to the debit card and collected in ten dollar bills.

This challenge was challenging.

A simple Facebook comment from my cousin, “I just joined, Operation Christmas Cards For our Soldiers.” Aha. Hello again ten dollar challenge. I’ll send ten Christmas cards to ten soldiers. I followed the link. “Cards must be sent in by November 27th.” Oh no, it’s too late for this Christmas but early for next and The Christmas in July event. Glad to be a part of this noble cause, but no cigar for my ten dollar challenge… on with my quest.

I couldn’t sleep praying and thinking of what I could do; take a bum to breakfast; tie a ribbon round the ol’ trash bin on garbage pickup day; a letter at the laundry mat … on and on.

Scrambling like Favre in the backfield I looked left and looked right, thought of this and thought of that, finally I realized it’s not a game. It’s a life style with no price tag or time limit.

A Challenge – yes. An ongoing pay it forward never ending challenge.

When I finally figure out a place for the ten dollars burning in my pocket, I’ll not say "mission accomplished," not yet anyway, not as long as I have breath.

I’ll just keep pluggin’ away until I hear My Heavenly Father say…

Thank you for the privilege to be part of this great adventure. Would you like to be on the receiving end of blessing? -- Be one.


katdish said...

That's so awesome Doug. I find myself looking for opportunities for a $10 challenge, and you're right, it's not about the amount, it's about the spirit of giving. I've done the drive thru thing. It really baffles the cashiers, huh?

Denise said...

Amen, we should strive to give of ourselves every opportunity we can. Bless you.

Anne Lang Bundy said...

I just love stopping in here. You never disappoint, Doug. Not even in failing to accomplish your mission. :D