Having grown up in Florida, one of the most fun things to do as a kid was to have water fights when it got too hot (which is 350 days a year). We would go into someone's yard with a bucket and 300 water balloons that cost $3, and we'd attempt to fill them up in order to have epic battles that would determine the fate of our grassy little world. After breaking 250 of the 300 water balloons while filing them up, we would place them in a bucket in the middle of the yard, and then the most important task would be begin – deciding who got to use the hose as their weapon.
There would be incredible arguments, point and counter point, as if we had been raised watching debates instead of cartoons every Saturday morning. Most times it came down to a game of rock, paper, scissors and the winner would get the unending source of high velocity water. This could shift the person’s attitude and method of play from night to day.
Even the timidest of the group would suddenly become a fierce warrior, with unlimited boldness. They would be completely unafraid of even the most intense volley of water balloons, because they knew that they had an unlimited supply of ammo with which they could drench the competition. No matter how bad of a week you had, how much homework you still had to do before Sunday, or even if you had issues with someone you were playing with, the limitless flow of water washed it all away and that day was a good day.
Compare that to every other person who would pick and choose their shots knowing that their supply of balloons would run out. They would calculate, plan, and sparingly use what they had to try and make it last longer. To them, there was always an end to the fun, and a cap on how many moments of victory they could celebrate. And if you were like me, and weren't fast, or a great thrower, those moments may have been few and far between.
Many of us, including myself, give and love like we have the balloons. We pick and choose very carefully how, who, and when we give our love to people because we feel like eventually we will run out. We shy away from commitment in relationships, new depths in a friendship, or even the introduction to someone new that would call us to give freely of ourselves. We give – afraid that one day we will reach in for more, and our hand will hit the bottom of the bucket.
But there is another way. What if we loved like we were the ones holding the hose? What if we unashamedly, fearlessly, and without hesitation loved each person we met knowing we could never run out? What if our generosity could never run out?
2 Corinthians 9:8-10
And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. As the Scriptures say,
“They share freely and give generously to the poor.
Their good deeds will be remembered forever.