I pray the day finds you well.
I was late getting to the YMCA this morning.
I was running late, I started to drive down the little road that takes me to the big road that takes me to the YMCA and there was Marvin and Priscilla. Marvin is 88 years-old, and moves really slowly. Priscilla, Marvin’s dog must be 105 years-old (in dog years) and moves even slower. There I was, sitting in my car on the little road by my house waiting. It can take Marvin five minutes to cross the road, it can take Priscilla even longer, she needs to stop, sit, and rest halfway through.
The thought came to me, “Well here is ten minutes that I will never get back.”
I was running late because I was finding it hard to get out of bed this morning. Not because I was tired or just didn’t feel like getting up, my back was acting up. I found it hard to move. I don’t know why. My back pain is a lot like those traffic jams you get into. You sit for a long time inching your way through, when you get to the end of the jam there is nothing there and traffic is moving just fine. You know something happened, you just don’t know what. It took me a while to slide out of bed, trying not to do the wrong thing that would cause the invisible man to stab me in the back again, with whatever it was he had. I hobble into the bathroom and attempt a shower. The shower part went ok, The whole drying off thing was another adventure. We have a lodge style house and a lodge style house has a lodge style bathroom. A lodge style bathroom must have lodge style fluffy towels with stitching of bears, deer, elk…on them. These lodge style towels live on the bottom shelf of the vanity. Normally this is a great place to have them. This morning, not so much. I started to wish I had opposable big toes like a chimp. I could just stand there and pick up a towel without bending over. I even tried to train my toes , no luck. Eventually I got a towel, only to figure out that I had air-dried in the process. Trying to get dressed turned into a math problem. My arms are only so long, I can bend my back only so far, and I can only raise my legs so high, none of which was enough to get my feet into my pants. I start doing static load comps in my head. Cos divided by theta, or is it sin times theta? This is why I’m a chaplain and not an engineer. It took some time but I finally got dressed. I got my stuff and out the door I went.
I was sitting there watching Marvin and Priscilla cross the road, feeling slightly annoyed.
Then I remembered something I had read. It was a story about a guy who had been mugged and left for dead on the side of the road. People would walk by, but they would not stop to help. Eventually this one guy from out of town stops and helps the man. He even pays for his doctor. It is an amazing story. Not just because he helped him, but because he saw him in the first place, really saw him.
Marvin’s wife had died years ago. His son moved his company far away and doesn’t come to visit anymore. All Marvin has is Priscilla. Marvin doesn’t want help crossing the road. Marvin just wants someone to visit with. I get out of the car and talk with Marvin. Eventually both Marvin and Priscilla made it to the side of the road. Eventually I managed to get back into my car.
As I drove to the YMCA this morning, I thought about Marvin. I thought about Priscilla. I thought about the Good Samaritan. We do not have to wait for a big thing to happen before we can be good Samaritans. We have the opportunity everyday to see people, really see them. We have the opportunity everyday to positively impact a person’s life. If our boss asks for something, give it to them, obviously they need it. If a member needs some help, help them with a smile on our face. There are many opportunities to Be Christ’s hands and feet every day. We just need to see the opportunity He is giving us.
Instead of thinking, “This is ten minutes I will never get back.” I would rather think, “This is ten minutes I would never GIVE back.