Tis the season right? Traffic jams, road rage and detours can all lead to an unpleasant experience. Recently, in downtown Grand Rapids, a detour showed me the right way to handle the problems stemming from a broken path.
Have you ever been in a situation that has since passed, but you want to relive it? Rethinking the steps you could have done to alter the action it results in? I am sure we can all think of a time to do over; high school basketball game, first crush and that one bad math exam. Hindsight is brutal. It can keep men awake at night, crush aspirations and to the extreme, sever relationships.
Get the point? Act accordingly in respect to your morals and the universal belief in right and wrong.
In West Michigan, generally speaking, our morals are engraved from biblical scripture.
Whew. Here we go.
Wednesday evening, on the way to class, I was caught in the Michigan street rush hour which happened to coordinate with the Blues on the Mall (a weekly Wednesday musical concert).
Then it hit me. With no prior warning like an insult on all that is holy. A young man walking with a graphic T-shirt saying bluntly on the back, with no room for ambiguity, that "Jesus is a C**t."
Can you guess what I did? Apparently I'm still a free man, so no not that. With all my might and the numbers 1-10, I rolled down the window and asked, "So you think you're a tough guy?"
Continuing to walk, this young man looked back timidly and said, "People diss my religion all the time, why can't I do it?"
"Whats your religion?" I replied.
Can you imagine the blood flow at this point, be cool, count to 10, now 100.
These situations we are put in happen for a reason. God gives us the power, among others, to act accordingly and best represent the Christian faith.
So do I jump out of the car, push this man over the bridge for disrespecting my God?
No, God wouldn't want that. Look at 1 out 5 wristbands at the mall sometime and you will more then likely see What Would Jesus do?
I was reminded of the previous weeks sermon, in which the pastor brought up the Good Samaritan and how that applies to everyday life.
Due to the construction, I was able to catch up to this young man and offer him a ride. He accepted after asking me if I was going to beat him up. Of course not, I assured him and he jumped in.
He was going to the Blues on the Mall, just down the street. I asked him what happened to make him hate Christ that emphatically. He said, as many do, that he sees no God in everyday life, so why believe.
We talked about right and wrong, morality. I told him not to feel alone, because we have all had doubts in our faith at some point. I stressed the point that to ensue Jesus is such a thing was not warranted, he agreed.
As I dropped him off and we said our goodbyes I told him that Jesus loves you. God bless you brother and it's only in time.
Many would argue, "Are you crazy letting that man in your car? Who knows what type of serial killer that man is?"
But isn't a proactive approach beneficial when obviously this youth has been lead down the wrong path? Do we as Christians incite this hatred by ignoring these acts of obvious cries for help?
I think so. Without a doubt many vehicles before me saw this display, yet he was still walking.
Jesus' unspoken challenge to all believers seems to be: would we help only if it's convenient, or are we willing to go out of our way to show compassion to a stranger?
So in theory being backed up in traffic and taking a detour has allowed me to find a new path and, God willing, give others direction.
Amen for construction.