My silver seminary – WILF 1

Michael Sampson decided I needed an ipod. I’m not sure why, but he did. He knew he couldn’t afford it. He was buying a new computer for work. He put his name in a drawing for a new ipod. He won it. He sent it to me.

I knew none of the above, however, when I got a package from New Zealand one day in late December 2006. I just knew that Michael was sending me something.

I had started using our son’s old shuffle for listening to seminary lectures. It was a pretty frustrating process, but it was much cheaper than tuition would be.

I opened the package.

I was dumbfounded, caught between tears and exhilaration. It was a gift that was beyond expectation, beyond anything I could have imagined. And yet I immediately knew how it would benefit me.  Since then I have listened to lectures. I have listened to sermons. I have listened to a handful of songs over and over and over. I call this my silver seminary.

I was working on a painting project on Saturday. I was feeling pretty apathetic. I put in the ear buds and started a song about legacy. And immediately I realized where I needed to start my posts for December in response to Robert Hruzek’s writing project, “what I learned from the generosity of others.”

Michael’s gift was over-the-top, perfectly-timed, and in response to a thought that both he and I had had. “Jon needs/I could use an ipod.” Neither of us prayed. We just thought.

But it counted as prayer.

And I am grateful.


Advent calendars start today, December 1 and so does my ebook. It is available as a FREE downloadable pdf, advent2008 (Right click on the link to the left and save the file to your computer).


6 responses to “My silver seminary – WILF 1

  1. What a great story, Jon! A wonderful illustration of God’s giving, and how it far outstrips anything we could ever imagine. Such a simple thing, an ipod; yet the worlds it opens up for you is boundless!

    Thanks for the contribution, Jon, and have a Blessed Season!

  2. I loved the story, Jon. But maybe even more, I like the idea of a Silver Seminary. Need to load up a few good teaching things on my iPhone…

  3. I can almost feel the happiness you must have felt. When something is unexpected it brings even more joy.

  4. I have been a recipient of a surprise gift, and I could never forget how that felt like.

    Which is why I am always into giving others a surprise. Because I want them to feel how I once felt — loved.

  5. Pingback: Middle Zone Musings » All Entries: What I Learned From the Generosity of Others

  6. I’ve been the recipient of just such a perfectly-timed, unanticipated gift… It’s a heartwarming story, suited to the Christmas time of year…