Why would anyone refuse a free gift?

I want to preface this by saying I’m not looking for a pat on the back or anything for doing this. My intention behind this is to spark some discussion on what happened to me today. I hope this hits you all as hard as it hit me. Now for a story:

On my way back home from Tech today I stopped at Chick-Fil-A in Harrisonburg for lunch. While I was there, I noticed this guy who was sitting in the back corner of the restaurant. He had a lot of stuff with him, and I couldn’t tell if he was homeless and hanging out there or whether he was just waiting for someone. I felt a serious tug on my heart to talk to him, and so just as I was going to leave, I stopped by his table, sat down and said hello. I asked if there was anything I can do to help him. After a lengthy pause, he pointed to I think three dollar bills on the table and said he was about to buy lunch. I offered to buy him lunch, and he was surprised. He asked me “what’s the bottom line here? why?” I told him I wanted to share what I believed in, the love of Christ. He looked outside the building and asked if I was one of the workers there. I told him I wasn’t. He then asked if any of the employees or managers told me to come over. I told him no, and that I was just passing through town on my way home from Tech. He talked about Tech for a few minutes, how he had lived there for a few months, and left because he felt it was a very stressful environment. After that, he just said “well, I think we’re done here.” I stood up, wished him the best of luck, and left.

What seriously troubles me about all this reminds me of some speaker I heard a few months ago. I’m not sure if it was at church or 180, but what kept running through my head after this event was a question that the speaker raised. That question was, “why would anyone refuse a free gift?” After wrestling with this for 10 miles up the road, I picked up my phone and called my pastor to talk about it. He said that it was a hard pill to swallow, and that it hurts us, but to imagine how badly it hurts God when we do the same to him. We got into talking about how some people just get into a place where they don’t want to accept anyone else’s help and how they want to make it on their own.

What do you guys think about all of this? Why would anyone refuse a free gift? What has caused some people to be so skeptical about someone wanting to help them and question their motives?


THIS.  THIS THIS THISIDY THIS.  The David Crowder*Band’s final album, Give Us Rest or (A Requiem Mass In C [The Happiest of  All Keys]).  I’ve only listened to it a time and a half through (it’s 34 tracks and 100 minutes long), but I wanted to make sure I said something about it ASAP.  I’ll be giving a more in-depth review hopefully very soon.


So I’m sitting here, it’s late, and I should be asleep.  I had planned on going to sleep early tonight. I need to start getting to bed earlier so I’ll be all right with going to bed earlier this semester, as I have two 8 am classes.  Matter of fact, I’ve been telling myself the same thing for at least the past week, if not longer.  I keep planning on doing things, but they just don’t happen the way I plan out.

I spend a lot of my time planning things out, making them happen in my mind just the way I’d like them to.  Like the other day, I was playing Words With Friends, and things had fallen into place perfectly, so I could play the word “history”, and probably take a solid lead in the game, putting me on the path to winning.  Then, on my opponent’s next move, he uses the “S” on the board that I had planned to use for his own word.  The word was “hairs.”  Needless to say, I was frustrated.  I had this brilliant plan, and everything would have worked out exactly in my favor, only to have that plan messed up by something not really in my control.

This made me ask my self what always causes my plans to get screwed up?  Sometimes it’s myself and my own stubbornness, like when I’m keeping myself up too late when I need to be getting better sleep.  But sometimes, something else happens to you.  You can’t really control it.  Like if you get rear-ended at a stoplight.  What can you do about that?  You’re completely stopped.  There’s no way to swerve out of the way, there’s really no predicting it.  You didn’t plan on having that happen.  You planned on getting where you were going without any trouble.  But something outside of your control changed that.

Everyone has their own dreams, their own aspirations.  If everything works out the way I’ve dreamt it up, it’s beautiful.  I graduate college, and attempt to start my own business.  In about to years, it folds.  Looking for a fresh start, I pick up and move to Colorado, where I’ve always dreamed about living.  I get a job in Denver, and have a nice apartment in the heart of it.  I make some good friends, and eventually meet my wife.  We get married, and move out of downtown Denver, to somewhere with a little bit of open land.  We have a daughter after a few years being married.  After that, we have twin boys.  One becomes super musically talented, and the other goes on to play quarterback at a D1 college.  After that, we have another boy, full of his own surprises.  I grow old in that house in the Colorado mountains, and spend my retirement playing guitar on the front porch on a daily basis.  It would be beautiful, right?

I think I’m crazy.

That whole plan probably won’t work out.  The only that might work out the way I want it to is me moving to Colorado.  That’s probably the most likely thing to happen out of that whole plan, and even that is reasonably questionable.

The thing is, I don’t know where I’m going.  I don’t know what I’m doing.  This life is a gift, and gifts aren’t ours to plan.  The beauty of it all though, is that there is a direction that you’re going in, whether you know it or not.  Sometimes that direction might be a little off course, but something will set you right again.

And yet, here I find myself, day after day, night after night, creating a plan of my own, when in fact, there’s already a plan out there for me.  I’m never perfectly content with what I’ve been given.

God’s got me.  Why can’t I ever let that be enough?


It’s 1:11 AM, and I’m writing my first post.  After a rousing night of watching How I Met Your Mother with friends, I whipped this thing together, on the urging of a friend.  I’m not really sure if what I have to say is really so fantastic that I have to share it with the world, but I’m doing it anyway.  Here I am.