I have a close friend, Reiner Fahrenberger (93), that I first met in Germany more than 40 years ago. Below is a letter I wrote to him a few months ago – I thought of sharing it with you and hope that it will be a blessing. (Clarifying notes in brackets below.)
My dear friend Reiner
I would like to thank you for one of the biggest lessons I have ever learnt.
About 38 years ago (1983?), Tony Abrahamse (the owner of Shelvit) and I visited you in Meckenheim/Bonn and you took us to different pharmacies in Germany to look at the layouts and construction. One evening on the way back to your (Meckenheim) factory we stopped for dinner at the Lochmühle restaurant. After dinner I saw ‘by accident’ you discreetly hand the waiter about DM150 (I think the total bill for the meal was around DM165 – still Deutsch Marks at that stage) and I thought it strange as in Germany restaurants normally sent the bill to a person’s company for payment (if a business meal and an official tax receipt is required) and 18% service is included.
The next evening we again stopped at the Lochmühle and again I saw you tip the same waiter a very large amount. I then asked you why you were giving such a large gratuity if the service was already included in the bill?
You said “I know that this man is going through difficult times. This is my way of helping him.” Then you said these words that taught me one of the biggest lessons of my life…
“Nico, always remember, you have to let it flow.”
These 9 words had a profound effect on my life up to this day and I have shared this story many times with friends and I know it has also had an effect on their thinking about their generosity. “Always remember, you have to let it flow!”
The reason for my mail is to thank you for your example and for sharing this wonderful lesson with me – you are an amazing friend and your friendship and advice the past 43 years are deeply appreciated… it changed my life.
Lord, help me in making 2022 a year where I will not give up, but look up and try and look away from my own needs and desires and help those that are going through difficult times by “remembering to always let it flow.” Amen.
What a beautiful principle, Nico, and one that you live by every day. The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace. (Numbers 6:24-26)
May me live to give and not to get! You are always a great source of encouragement to me and all who know you ~ thank you.
Seen vir jou Nico!
Thank you Nico you are a true inspiration. You certainly walk the talk.
Nice message, Nico, especially during these times. I will keep this in mind when we go out to eat.
This is so true and what a beautiful blessing it is when you let it flow. Even if you don’t have much, you have more then many other people and even with the little you have, a person can still in one way or another let it flow. That is truly Gods heart, to bless.
Great reminder, thank you Nico.
Thank you Nico, I know you are guided by the Lord and “let it flow” you defiantly do. I truly appreciate the fact that you don’t just share life lessons but live them. We trust you will be blessed with in 2022 .
I struggled with this today, as I thought about this being the opposite of a business mindset, save and invest, don’t spend unnecessarily…as usual. But after reading your blog I can see the other part of the message “That God owns all our money, not only 10% of it”.
Thank you for your message. Looking forward to learn more great things the Lord wants. (Edited)
Wat ‘n wonderlike lewensles……baie dankie dat jy dit met ons deel
Thank you Nico! A good powerful thought to remember. Blessed 2022. It’s going to be a big one!
“Look, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert”. (Isaiah 43:19)
How apt is this scripture when considering this insightful and valuable lesson. Nico, thank you for sharing this lesson which is also a testament to how you live your life. May God continue to bless you and make a way and let the river flow in the deserts during 2022.
This is such good advice. Thank you for sharing.