As I left the house I said to my daughter that I should only be gone for about half an hour. Well, they were famous last words!
Reference: v.1 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. (NIV Bible)
Explore: The other day I headed to the shops just to pick up a couple of things. As I left the house I said to my daughter that I should only be gone for about half an hour. Well, they were famous last words! As I stood in the queue at the deli I bumped into a friend I hadn’t seen for a while. We started chatting and after about 10 minutes I realised that due to our indepth conversation I had missed my turn in the queue, so she headed off and I continued my shopping. Heading to the bakery I noticed a neighbour having a coffee. I waved from a far, keen to get home, but they waved me over and we chatted about their house and some of the changes going on. After about 10 minutes I realised I was already running late and so told them that I’d catch up with them again soon. As I entered the car park I headed towards my car and almost had my keys in the door when one of the students from the local school that I visit walked past. They didn’t see me and I could have easily escaped a third dialogue however I knew that they were struggling with some friendship issues and I really should just say g’day. So I called out and ended up having a good brief chat right there in the carpark. When I finally got in the car to drive home I realised that I had been gone for over an hour. I chastised myself for taking so long to accomplish a simple task. But then I realised that my trip to the shops had encompassed so much more than shopping. I had reunited with an old friend, assisted a growing relationship with my neighbour and continued some pastoral care for a student. There was more pastoral care done in this one hour than if I had have been at work!
Application: There are times when our lives involve so many interruptions. My intention was to go to the shops and yet the end result was so much more. If my priority was to just purchase a few items then I could easily have rushed through the shops and not bothered to stop to chat to people. However, I knew that it was more important to build relationships than have a few extra items in my cupboard. If you read through the gospels you will notice this happens to Jesus all the time. Jesus and his disciples will be heading to a final destination but they will constantly get weigh-layed along the way. Even in this passage Jesus is just passing through a place, and yet He is never too busy to stop and talk to people in need. So often our lives are so busy that we find it difficult to notice the people around us who are in need. If we are to be more like Jesus then we need to allow for interruptions and be willing to change our direction when the need arises.
Prayer: Lord, I am sometimes so focussed that I forget to put people as the priority. Open my eyes to see those in need and be willing to stop to help. Amen.
Make yourself available today to help those that may be in need.
This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.