We all like those extra touches, don't we? Some hotels leave little chocolate candies on their guests' pillows, to make them feel welcome.
When I visit my hair salon, they stamp my card. After five visits, they give me a free bottle of shampoo; after the tenth visit, the haircut is free. The car wash also has a card that they stamp. On the tenth visit, the wash is free — I like those kinds of perks.
Stores offer reward cards — I occasionally get a $5.00 reward coupon at the grocery store and the drug store. They value my patronage, it's good for business, and they also probably keep up with my buying habits on their various databases. The stores have made it even easier to show the cards at the time of purchase — they offer tiny versions to place on your key chain. My key chain now holds six of those little cards — one grocery store, one drug store, one bookstore, one coffeehouse, and two pet stores. There are more cards on my keychain than keys! The only problem is that three of them are red and I have to make sure that I get the right one. I bought gasoline for the car this week and accidentally grabbed my blue debit card instead of the one for the gas station. Once, I tried to present my AAA card at Costco — they were similar in color.
Many years ago, my mother enjoyed receiving S & H Green Stamps whenever she bought groceries. She loved to paste all of her stamps in the books, consult the catalog, and redeem them for her "prize" or gift at the store. She also loved to buy those big cartons of Quaker Oatmeal because they included something inside the package. Sometimes it contained a juice glass, or maybe a little dessert cup (I still have some of those). Cracker Jack was one of my favorite treats — loved getting that little prize.
In our daily lives, we can offer little extra niceties to our friends, neighbors, family members, acquaintances, and others we may not know. It might be a smile, an encouragement, a compliment, a pat on the back, a silly joke to brighten their day — something special to share with humanity.
My father passed away in November at age 101 — he often took cookies to nursing home residents, shared a joke or two, and made everyone feel better for having been around him. (Click here for an example of one of his shared jokes.)
He was a wonderful example of someone who genuinely cared for others, and gave them a little something extra. One person told me that my father called him after his surgery — to inquire about his health. He couldn't believe that a 100 yr. old man was calling him, to see how he doing!
Jesus said it this way:
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you (Luke 6:38 NIV)