Have you heard the story of Matthew Jackson?
It all began on November 10th when Jamie-Lynne Knighten found herself at checkout at a California grocery store. It was then she realized she had left her debit card at home. That’s when a stranger, Matthew Jackson, stepped in with a surprising offer – to pay for her nearly $200 grocery bill … with one condition: that she would promise to pay the kindness forward. A week later, still overwhelmed with appreciation, she learned where Matthew worked and decided to call him and thank him for his generosity. Her call, however, was met with uncontrollable tears as the manager informed her that Matthew had passed away – the day after his interaction with Jamie-Lynne at the grocery store.
As I think about Matthew’s random act kindness, it isn’t about the money; it’s bigger than that. God calls us to take care of those around us – both in care and encouragement. Paul tells the Thessalonians to “encourage one another and build each other up.”
In the 2002 movie, The Emperor’s Club, it’s said: “Great ambition and conquest without contribution is without significance. What will your contribution be? How will history remember you?” Yes, Matthew’s met a need with his monetary contribution – but his impact in encouraging others to live a life of kindness and paying it forward will last much longer than the groceries bought that day.
There are 1,440 minutes in a day. More importantly, there are 1,440 opportunities in a day. So how will you make the most of today?