May 29, 2020
Dear Nepean Family,
For me personally, this past week was full of setbacks. It seemed as if nothing was going my way. When that happens I’m tempted to take it personally. My ego kicks in and instead of looking for a win, I’m looking for a battle. However, I have learned over the years that battles, based on ego, don’t bring opportunities. They tend to end them.
This story takes place during the latter part of the 1800’s in Bengal, India. Sri Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar and his friends were busy raising money to start what would become Calcutta University. One day Vidyasagar decided to visit the palace of the Nawab of Ayodhya. The Nawab was not known to be a generous man and as such Vidyasagar’s friends tried to talk him out of asking the Nawab for a donation.
Ignoring their warnings, Vidyasagar met with the Nawab, presented his case and asked for a donation to their cause. After hearing Vidyasagar's presentation, and request, the Nawab got up, took off one of his shoes and dropped it into Vidyasagar’s bag as a donation. Vidyasagar simply got up, thanked the Nawab for his generous donation and left.
Now, I’m reading this and I’m thinking, “You thanked him? For what? You call that a generous donation!” I don’t know about you, but I would have taken that shoe and thrown it in the first garbage can that I could find. My ego would have been highly offended and I would have been tempted to tell people exactly what I thought of the Nawab and his “generous donation”.
But not Vidyasagar. The next day he organized an auction of the Nawab’s shoe in front of his palace. Many of the Nawab’s knights, Jahagirdars, court members and other nobles, who wanted to impress the Nawab starting bidding. The shoe eventually sold for Rs 1000.
The Nawab was thrilled to hear that his shoe sold for Rs 1000, and decided to match the sale of the shoe, adding his own Rs 1000 as a donation. Remember, this is the 1800’s.
When the Nawab dropped a shoe in his basket, Vidyasagar could have walked out furious. He could have thrown the shoe back at the Nawab or simply thrown it out. He could have been insulted, furious, offended or enraged by what many would have interpreted as an insult.
He did none of that. Why? Because it wasn’t about him. It was about a goal that was bigger than him or the Nawab. This was about the future of education in India.
When life hands you a setback, like COVID-19, take a look at the bigger picture. God is still doing his work in this world. There is a gospel to preach, souls to save and a kingdom to grow. It’s not about our ego, it’s about his glory. And when we are focused on his glory, God can take this setback and turn it into an opportunity.
Here are some options to return your tithe and offerings:
1. Mail a cheque to the church address:
Nepean Seventh-day Adventist Church
4010 Strandherd Drive.
Ottawa ON K2J 4R8
2. Online Giving (link will open in a new page)
- A debit card with a CVV code (3 digits code printed on the back of the card), or
- A credit card with a CVV code is required