My wife and I are attending an overnight retreat depicted as a “Journey of Generosity.” The content and delivery are excellent, but the most riveting concept is that there is room for growth along a pilgrimage on which we never fully arrive. Often credited as having said, “Life is a journey, not a destination,” the closest Emerson actually came to that wording is his passage: “To finish the moment, to find the journey’s end in every step of the road, to live the greatest number of hours, is wisdom.” Either way, the philosopher’s point is well taken that each moment is as much a beginning as it is an end. That may be bad news for the pessimist, but certainly is good news for anyone needing a second chance. Fortunately, God expects us to be travelers, not experts.
Generosity flows from grace reflected upon in prayerful communication with the Giver of grace. The aged apostle wrote: “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give; not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:7,8). In other words, traveling light is a matter of the heart. There is no mention here of percentages or quotas; everything is predicated on the condition of my heart and its predisposition or lack thereof to recognize God’s voice and move towards rather than away from it. Generosity must originate in the heart, otherwise it will be seen as such while actually serving as nothing more than a reflection of my own pride and prejudice. Relationship is everything, and intimacy with the Giver resolves my lack of generosity. This journey may never end, but “now” is always the best time to take a step in the right direction.