One responsibility of my job at Chick-ﬁl-A involves screening and making decisions about the multitude of donation requests we receive every week. Various schools, churches, organizations, clubs, individuals and anyone else in our town with a cause solicits our store for donations of food, coupons, cash, prizes and more. Our goal at Chick-ﬁl-A is to be a faithful steward of all that's entrusted to us and we look for positive opportunities to be involved in the community.
I have a love-hate relationship with this task, as I am convinced that reviewing donation requests is the job that NEVER ends. Just when I think I have conquered the stack of recently submitted requests, I open our book the next day to ﬁnd a fresh stack waiting to receive attention. If I'm not careful, the papers pile up and I quickly get behind.
Once I have reviewed the submitted requests, I make decisions (which often involves running a couple things by my boss) and contact each one about whether or not we're able to make a donation. If so, I also let them know what we are willing to donate.
One thing I love about my job is the opportunity to have inﬂuence. Chick-ﬁl-A is a business that already has a unique platform in the community and I enjoy frequently being a part of that inﬂuence. Nothing makes my day more than to call a representative from a local school or organization, let them know what we are going to contribute to their cause & hear the overﬂow of gratitude and excitement that ensues. It never gets old. I love it!
On the ﬂipside, I have been astounded, at times, by the level of entitlement that some people display regarding their requests for assistance. To some extent, I expect a frustrated reaction from those I have to call and inform that we will be unable to make a contribution at the time. However, even some that have been selected to receive a donation have surprised me by their lack of gratitude. Some reply saying they were "expecting more from us." Others, act as though it's not big deal, in an attitude that communicates, "you're obligated to donate to our cause so of course you have something to give us."
The other day, I was driving home from work, after making a few phone calls regarding donations. As I drove, I was thinking about how tainted my view of a person or group can be depending on how they react to our decision about their request. Those who respond graciously, with excitement and gratitude leave me wanting to do more in the future. Those who respond with disdain or entitlement cause me to think poorly of them and lessen my desire to support them in the future.
Gratitude is a powerful thing. More clearly than before, I've come to understand that those who demonstrate gratitude are inﬂuential: they have the ability to win people over and make others their biggest fans.
I'd like to think that my life is a testimony of gratitude: however, I'm afraid that's far from the truth. Everyday, Christ lavishes grace upon my life. My life is marked by the faithful goodness and compassion of Jesus. How do I respond? Typically with disdain and entitlement.
"I deserved that recognition. Jesus, why didn't you change that circumstance in my favor?"
I spit in His face - the very generous gifts I've been given are treated with contempt, or worse, ignored altogether.
That's the amazing thing! Unlike me, and my easily inﬂuenced view of those we donate to, my Savior's view of who I am is not tainted by my response. Even when I lack the humility to acknowledge His goodness - He continues to give. Not because He's obligated but because He loves me. I may have ignored the last "donation" He made but as soon as I submit the next "donation request" - crying out for help, He's quick to lavish me, again and again, with His grace.
That's His nature. Unrelenting. Faithful. Constant. Generous. Rejoicing over me with singing. Always and forever.