by Jared Yellin

During the evening of August 3, 2009, a legend in my world departed this earth and only left his soul behind. This man is my Papa Mark and he has exposed me to lessons that cannot be learned in school or by reading a book, but rather through experiencing and witnessing an individual who had an insatiable desire to serve.

My papa worked until the day that he died, as he was the number one salesman at Home Depot, (in the entire country for appliances), but this honor shies in comparison to the number of lives that he has impacted as a result of the Act of Contribution.

My grandfather defined the concept of giving for the sake of giving and this is a lesson that all of us need to adopt into our lives. The Act of Contribution is what kept him alive because it enabled him to serve his purpose on earth.

I am going to ask all of you to take a moment and answer this question honestly: When was the last time that you performed the Act of Contribution and gave for the sake of giving?

The reason that I pose this question is because I believe that we live in a country that is consistently dialed into the radio station WIFM or in other words, WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME! Many of us simply care about giving for the sake of receiving, or even worse, needing to receive first before we give. We look to see how other people can benefit us, prior to even considering how we can positively impact their lives.

I believe that we live in a sick country and the infection is greed and an unappeasable craving to benefit ourselves. There have been countless studies associated with the power of contribution and how it can eliminate depression, emptiness, and lack of self worth. It is important to realize that money is not the only contribution, and in my opinion, it should be the last.

People yearn to experience what love is all about, and this is not necessarily intimacy, but rather knowing that someone will be in their life and guide them on their journey. We live in a world where children are growing up and never experiencing a hug, where teenagers lack mentors, and adults make poor choices for relationships. These people need our help, and what they need has nothing to do with money, and everything to do with an ear to listen and a shoulder to cry on.

Papa Mark was the person that I described in the last sentence because people felt connected to him on a number of different levels because their world changed when he entered their lives. There is a quote that I read a number of years ago that epitomizes my Papa Mark: People enter your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.

My Papa Mark was the later for every single person who was fortunate enough to spend a moment with him. Although his life came to an end only a couple of days ago, his presence will never be lost and his insatiable desire to serve will go on forever.

One of my goals with this message is to acknowledge my Papa for everything that he stood for in my world and his authenticity in others as well. My other motive was to open all of your eyes and encourage you to realize that the Act of Contribution is an essential component to living a life worth living.

So keep your money in your pocket, reveal your heart to the world, and take time today, and everyday going forward, to give for the sake of giving and become a Papa Mark in someone else’s world.

PS: RIP Papa. I love you with everything that I have inside. You are part of my drive!

Meditation: Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another. – Romans 14:19

You will succeed because Jesus loves You!

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