“Off the Top”

One night not long ago, sleep eluded me. Frustrated, I made a cup of tea and sat down in my favourite chair. On the table beside me lay my Bible and my journal book. Might as well do my morning meditation now, I thought. At least that will be done.
The suggested reading for the new day was from Leviticus. “Do not reap to the edges of your field… Leave some for the poor.” (Leviticus 19:9-10) I mulled the words over. I’m not a farmer. What message does this scripture have for me? God spoke to me in the silence of the night.
First, I don’t have to claim every last drop of everything that is coming to me. Sharing is easiest when we do it off the top of the pile, not the bottom. Like the Biblical farmer who decided at the beginning that he would not harvest to the edges of his field, we too, can decide what percentage of our monthly or weekly income we will give to others through charity, church, or… I discovered years ago that giving off the top rather than leftovers will not leave me short. In fact, I never miss it, and I often end up with more.
The second message was make it easy for people to care for themselves. Leave the fruit growing at the edges of the field, so that those who are in need can harvest it themselves. Too often, we think about caring for others as giving to the poor. This passage says provide the resources, so that those who are in need can care for themselves.
I decided that I needed to miss some sleep that night. It gave me an opportunity to listen for God. I don’t recommend insomnia, but when you can’t sleep, try reading the Bible. Read a story or a few verses. Sit with them. Listen. God says some amazing things.

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