In the winter of 2009, I had the world at what I felt was the palm of my hand. I was in my mid thirties, I was earning approximately 100K per year, I had two vehicles in the driveway and I was about to embark on what was the second year living in my brand new home. Granted I didn’t feel as though I had accomplished all there was to accomplish in life, but I was certainly happy and enjoying the fruits of my hard work and aggressive path to achieve my career goals. I was also managing to attend church every Sunday and dutifully putting in my portion in the collection plate as it would pass in front of me on its way to the next congregant.
Then as quickly as it was all achieved, it disappeared in a swift and devastating manner. First, there was robbery at my brand new home that I placed so much emphasis and pride in. Then, medical problems with a close loved one further drained any available reserves. Finally, I was laid off from my high earning job all in the same year. I immediately went into a mental and emotional panic and depression. In no way had I planned for such occurrences. It felt as though my world had been turned upside down in a manner of minutes even though all the events occurred over a twelve month period.
Later that year I managed to attain a seasonal job which took me past the Christmas months, but I was again laid off February of 2010. I was rehired in March and then this time fired in October of the same year. I lost my dream home that year as well to foreclosure. Long gone were the vehicles in the driveway, and the impromptu flights just for fun. I found myself, one day, simply crying and asking God what had I done to deserve this lot in life. With my face upturned and tears streaming, I pleaded angrily with God to just give me another chance, show me what lesson I needed to learn from all of this.
Two days later I was sitting forlornly in my partner’s apartment. On the living room end table was a book. I absentmindedly picked it up and started thumbing through it. Immediately I felt as though that ray of light had gone on for me. You know that feeling when you say to yourself, “Why didn’t I think about this before? I knew this all along.” I told my partner, I am going to borrow your book you have laying here. The response was, “What book? I didn’t put any book on the table.” I should issue the disclaimer that I am not saying some invisible ghost placed the book on the table for me. Not at all. But sometimes things are placed in your path so you can stumble upon them when you are missing the obvious signs.
The title of the book was, The Four Spiritual Laws of Prosperity, A Simple Guide To Unlimited Abundance, by Edwene Gaines. The first law noted in the book was, Tithing. As I read the first three chapters it was as though a switch had been flicked in my mind. And the last few years of my life came flooding back in a reel of occurrences. In all of the abundance I had experienced over the years, in all of the blessings I was bestowed, not once had I tithed at the spiritual center that has fed me over the years. I thought I was even reciting the tithing statement faithfully through the years, “as I tithe I demonstrate an abundance to the glory of God.” I had it recited to perfection, but with no real understanding and comprehension. And I was contributing minimally, as the offer basket was passed, but at no point was I tithing my share of the 10% that I now realize is so critical to the survival of our prized spiritual centers.
So I thought, I will challenge myself to do just that. After all, when you know better you do better. That Wednesday, I attended mid-week service. I gave 10% of what I had in cash in my pocket, and I did so with a freedom and lightness in my heart that I hadn’t felt before. The next day, I had a court hearing that I had to attend. The judge spent all of 10 minutes with me reviewing my case and said, “you’ve proven your case.” My astonishment at his statement was evident. I had spent so much time rehearsing my responses ensuring I had copies of needed documents and fretting about the unknown. As I left the hearing, I thought to myself even in my darkest hour, if I do my part with unyielding faith, void of questioning and doubt, the universe will return it back to me pressed down and running over.