Living life in the fast lane? So many of us do. From the time our feet hit the floor in the morning until the moment our heads touch the pillow at night, our days are filled with places to go, people to see, commitments to fulfill, and long “to do” lists to complete. There is little time to stop and smell the roses… much less do anything else that isn’t included in our jam-packed schedule.
Whether our calendars are overcrowded or we have room to spare, the disruptions of life can be an annoyance. Things like traffic jams and technology failures can take us off track and keep us from achieving our goals. Yet our lives aren’t always disrupted by things. Sometimes we are disrupted by something much more important – people.
“A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side,” (Luke 10:30-32, NIV).
As I read this parable, I have to wonder why these men didn’t stop to help the battered and broken man. They saw the need…why didn’t they respond? Were they too busy to be bothered? Unwilling to be inconvenienced? Concerned about the cost of getting involved? Afraid of getting in too deep? Whatever their reasons, these men didn’t step in to help. They walked away.
As I read this story, I am convicted. I honestly don’t think I could ignore a half dead person on the side of the road. Yet sometimes I sidestep those who find themselves in a place of spiritual, emotional or relational brokenness. I try to console myself with a couple dozen excuses and absolve the guilt of walking away. I don’t have time. This might really cost me. I don’t know how to handle a situation like this. I can’t fix them all. Surely, someone else will help. Deep down I know it’s not what I should do. It’s not what a good neighbor would do. It’s not what Jesus would do.
I wish we could fix every problem and bear every burden. We can’t. But we can go to our Savior, and ask Him to guide our hearts to those whom we can effectively love and serve. As peacemakers, we have the joyous privilege of connecting them to the peace, hope and healing that comes through our Savior. Don’t walk away. Walk the path.
Dale Pyne – CEO, Peacemaker Ministries
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