April 18, 2017

“Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” -1 Timothy 6:18-19

Cayla Chandara is a 21-year-old college student in Waikiki, Hawaii. Because Cayla did not want to leave college with a tremendous amount of student loans she worked two jobs. She was a waitress at two different restaurants, putting in long, hard hours.

One night, while working a shift at a local Thai restaurant, Cayla was serving a table of tourists from Australia. During the meal, Cayla had a conversation with the patrons. They asked her why she moved to Hawaii and she told them that she was a student and shared her hopes for her future. The patrons were so impressed that they left her a $400 tip.

Cayla was overwhelmed by the tip that was more than double the bill. She wanted to express her gratitude. She remembered that they had said the name of the hotel where they were staying. As soon as Cayla’s shift was over, she wrote a thank-you note and took it to the hotel.

The next night during Cayla’s shift, one of the patrons from the previous night and her daughter returned to the restaurant and presented Cayla with a $10,000.00 check. They told Cayla that it was to pay off her student loans. Cayla was stunned, to say the least. Cayla was told to “strive for her goals” and that is exactly what she planned to do.

Cayla’s story reminds me of just how powerful gratitude and generosity can be when practiced in our lives. This year at St. Luke’s is the year of gratitude. Living a life of gratitude is a choice. When we say, “thank you,” we become more aware of the blessings in our lives, and when we live a life of gratitude and generosity we become a blessing for others. When we express our gratitude we truly change others’ lives and our own. Today, Cayla is a different young lady with a vision for the future, all because of generous gratitude. Whose life will you bless today?

Rev. Keith King, Online Campus Pastor