Last week I was in Utah - it was an eventful week, Jeff and I met in person, for the first time. He forgot I lived 10 miles from the border and chose a not-very-good Mexican restaurant, but it didn't matter that the food was awful, because the company was great.
My wife and I attended a wedding, then flew home - our delayed flight made us iffy on wanting to drive the 2.5 hours back to our house, but push come to shove we decided we'd rather sleep in our own bed, even if it meant getting home at 2 am.
Despite our best efforts, we are still pre-rich and GEHB covers costs and provides us with some fun money. So I had to actually go to my real job in a real office and prove that I'm not some catfish just cashing a paycheck. While there, we had a company meeting and everybody was given $100 and tasked to find somebody who needed it and make someone's day brighter. More on this later.
Mile Marker 64
The drive home through the desert is a slog. I've done it a hundred times and it is still never fun. But at night you can really fly - very little traffic. Never a cop. Can shave 15-20 minutes off a 2.5 hour drive depending on how long it actually takes you to hit the freeway and get going.
As we were cruising along, a car came up and passed us - we didn't think anything of it, until a couple miles down the road we saw a giant cloud of dust. We immediately pulled out and I ran across the freeway to find the car, right side up and facing parallel to the road, but it had done a complete barrel roll (or two) in the process. Miraculously, the driver was alive and without a scratch. He was looking for his phone to call his mom - she lived about an hour and a half away.
I dialed his number, found it on the ground, and helped pick up everything that had scattered across the Sonoran floor between the asphalted roads running in each direction. While he talked to his mom, I called 911 to report the accident and waited for the AZHP officer to meet us.
The Next Day
As we drove the rest of the way home, we talked about how amazed we were that he didn't have a scratch. Then as I was about to climb into bed, I remembered the $100 and figured George could use it as much as anybody. He had been traveling home from working on the east coast - the car wasn't fancy, but got the job done and he had told his mom how much work had had put into it to get it in shape. I checked Venmo and nothing, but found him on Cash App and sent him $100 with a note - he texted me back in the morning grateful to be home safe.
If you are reading this - there is about 1/3 chance that you are a VIP subscriber. There's a 100% chance you are a BYU fan (well, I guess there's a decent chance you're a Ute fan since you can't resist.) and between those two things, you most likely have a few bucks to spare. So we want to issue you a challenge - take whatever number feels like something more than what you would spend inside a gas sation without thinking and a million dollars and find somebody who needs some help and go make their day. After you do that - we want to hear about it! Share it, send us the link, text Jeff a picture, put it on TikTok. Come share how you, personally, made the world a better place.
Rinse and Repeat
Right after I got married, I remember listening to a podcast and the host said something about putting money aside to help others. In my head I thought, "oh, that's just like a fast offering", but as my wife and I combined our finances, we decided to set up an autodeposit to a savings account just for giving.
I'm not sharing this to brag, or to say "look at me" - in fact, until that meeting last week when I got the $100, I hadn't thought about the account in months. But there is something special about being in the right place, at the right time, and having the opportunity to help somebody and immediatley knowing you have the means to because you've set money aside for that. The amount we put in has ebbed and flowed throughout the years. Once we bought my grandma-in-law some shoes. Another time a neighbor after being laid off at the start of the pandemic got a new job with a long commute, so we bought him a gas gift card. That account funded a $26.17 to Make a Wish.
So our second New Year's challenge for you is to take a little smaller amount, and start setting it aside every month. Teach your kids to do it too and find a way that you can lift where you stand to make the world a little brighter. You probably recognize this hymn:
Have I done any good in the world today?
Have I helped anyone in need?
Have I cheered up the sad and made someone feel glad?
If not, I have failed indeed.
Has anyone’s burden been lighter today
Because I was willing to share?
Have the sick and the weary been helped on their way?
When they needed my help was I there?
There are chances for work all around just now,
Opportunities right in our way.
Do not let them pass by, saying, “Sometime I’ll try,”
But go and do something today.
’Tis noble of man to work and to give;
Love’s labor has merit alone.
Only he who does something helps others to live.
To God each good work will be known.
So while we are all about giving life hell here at GEHB, let's take a moment this holiday season to find somebody to whome life is giving hell, and see if we can give that person a piece of heaven.