Pay It Forward

We have all heard about someone being in the drive-thru at a fast food restaurant and having someone pay for the food of the one coming behind them. I love those stories especially because the one behind can’t even catch up to the person in front to thank them. The person paying for sure realizes the person coming behind them has no way to pay them back. They don’t know them and can’t catch them. I love it!

Recently I was able to witness a “HUGE” pay it forward in Washington, D.C. I love it for many reasons: 1. because it was in D.C.; 2. because it involved young people; and 3. especially because it happened in the corporate world by a South Carolinian who has been ultra successful in the business world. I have to tell you his name, Robin D. Roberts.

Robin started the company National Media Group. Robin was our oldest son’s first employer and has since become a friend. On our recent week in D.C. Collins met with Robin. He invited us to his Washington Media Scholars Foundation (WMSF). To date, the non-profit has distributed $250,000.00 in scholarship awards to undergraduates pursuing a career in the public policy advertising field.

As members of the the audience we had the privilege of hearing from the 2015 recipients. One of the winners expressed through tears, “This is what it must feel like to win an Oscar!” The room broke out in laughter. I was overcome by the hard work, time and money that had been put into such an event where neither Robin nor any of the people who had donated their time and money could possibly be paid back. Yet they provided an amazing opportunity for the college kids who sought to compete for these scholarships.

The room was filled with happiness, a joyful buzzing and excitement! I personally loved just sitting back and watching the activities and the people, especially the young people who had such an opportunity right in front of them. Around 400 media outlets were in the room providing these young people with the opportunity to network for their future. I call that a big “Paying it Forward” by Robin Roberts to people who were complete strangers to him!

Did you know that the concept of “paying it forward” is found in scripture? I love it. Matthew 10:8, “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons, FREELY YOU HAVE RECEIVED, FREELY GIVE” [emphasis mine]. Jesus was instructing His disciples in this text but this scripture applies to us as well.

Jesus gave it ALL to us.

His life…on the cross…atonement for our sins.

His expectation is that we would give to our brother. Many scriptures point to this principle. One of my favorites is found in 1 John 3:17, “If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”

I love seeing scripture “lived out loud in action” and I got to see it in the corporate world in our nation’s capital. Be encouraged today. :o) I will end with a quote from my favorite coach, John Wooden. Robin Roberts is a real example of living these powerful words, “You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.”

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