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The Ultimate Gift
By Joel Osteen - Feb 22, 2010
I heard a story about a baby boy born in 1932 to an unwed mother. Six weeks later, he was adopted by a loving couple. At the age of five, his adopted mother suddenly died. For the next ten years, the little boy traveled the country with his adopted father who was searching for work. The little boy's favorite thing to do was go out to eat and watch the other families sitting together, enjoying each other. He became fascinated with restaurants. He began to study the menus and how everything worked.

When he was fifteen years old, the owner of a local restaurant gave him a job. This man took the boy under his wing. He began to teach him everything he knew about the restaurant business. At eighteen, the young man was drafted. After serving our county for four years, he came back home and once again that restaurant owner gave him a job. This time, he put him in charge of four of his restaurants. Those restaurants continued to flourish. In 1969, that restaurant owner sold his restaurants. This young man decided to take everything he had learned and start his own restaurant. He called it, "Wendy's Old Fashioned Hamburgers."

Today, there are over 6,000 Wendy's and the founder, the late Dave Thomas, is still one of the most beloved and endeared people in America. Over his life, Mr. Thomas gave millions to charities. He started numerous foundations to help adoption agencies, to help children learn skills, for mentoring programs, and more. Dave Thomas made a huge difference with his life, but it would have never happened if that loving couple had not adopted him and that restaurant owner had not taken time to mentor him, train him, and impart into this young man. They didn't just leave something for Dave Thomas; they left something in Dave Thomas. By investing in this young man, they left a mark that will not be erased.

Look at the people around you. Is there someone in your life that you could easily take under your wing and mentor? Someone you could teach your skills to and speak faith into? Proverbs 22:6 tells us that when we train up a child in the way they should go, they will not depart from it. When you give of yourself, your time, your energy, and your advice to train someone, it is the ultimate, lifelong gift. I've learned this: the greater the giving, the greater the living. You will never be more fulfilled than when you're making a difference in somebody else's life.
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