Before I was married, I worked as a waiter to put myself through seminary. And it was during that time that I was challenged to grow in grace of giving. And it was a challenge, partly because it was hard to predict how much income I would make. After all, my tips varied from night to night. Each time I showed up for work I was hoping for a good shift, a busy section, and good tippers.
Here’s how I crunched the numbers. Let’s say I received $47 in tips on one particular night. In that particular restaurant it was customary as a waiter to give 15% of your tips to the bus boy, and another 10% to the bar staff. That, alone, took about 12 bucks off the top. My take home that night would’ve been $35. What that meant for me was that the first $3.50 was set aside for my church. Another $3.50 was designated for savings. I’d have to live on 80%. Twenty eight bucks. It was hard. But I’m sure it would be harder now, if I didn’t begin back then.
Over the years I’ve seen how this practice has brought great blessing. God has provided more than we need. More than that, He has taught me to be content with what I have. Mostly, He has given us the opportunity to invest in things that don’t fade. I’m so grateful for what began with restaurant tips.