So how good will you be in 2018? There is not much competition on that side.
Yesterday I helped someone; and every detail in this story matters for the conclusion. I have a bad cough, the kind that won’t let me sleep at night, and this morning I drove to the drug store in the Mall, where I don’t usually shop. I don’t know why I chose the mall, and that store. Also, the weather is cold today, – 30 C or – 22 F.
I walked out of the wrong door at the Mall, so I had a long walk to my truck, at – 30 with bronchitis. That is a bad combination but I don’t think hard when I’m at the mall. Somehow it all felt right.
As I walked, on my right I saw a small old truck, a Ford Ranger, which is usually a poor man’s ride. The driver turned the key and I heard “Click Click Click.” In subarctic weather, that means your battery is low, and that means the driver should call a tow truck for a boost, which will be expensive, and he might wait for hours because tow trucks are busy on cold days.
Also, low batteries freeze like popsicles in severe cold and the ice bulges the battery sides out, and that would mean an expensive tow to a shop, an expensive new battery, and shop hourly charges; and a wasted day. And maybe the driver had some place he needed to be.
I will finish the story later.
We can have warm fuzzy feelings for people around us “A brother or sister in Christ might need clothes or might need food. And you say to him, “God be with you! I hope you stay warm and get plenty to eat.” You say this, but you do not give that person the things he needs. Unless you help him, your words are worth nothing.” (James 2: 15 and 16).
Clearly, warm and fuzzy will not do the job.
I think God pushed me out the wrong door at the right time, at the mall. After that I had choices. I could have turned my head and looked away, like everyone else. Lots of other people passed the young man. I didn’t make a big effort, I just walked over and said “Are you OK?”
I was also able. I keep booster cables in my truck and it has a good battery.
Do you see a hero in this story? I don’t. If you are ready with the will and the resources, God will send you assignments. I was not a hero, and you won’t be, this is a normal part of following Jesus.
So, what happened to the man in the Ford Ranger? I had him on his way on five minutes, with a small effort from me. He did most of the work. When I walked away he followed me and he shook my hand and thanked me sincerely, and he seemed emotional.
If you live in a cold climate you know how scary his problem was. It was nothing for me, but I think it was huge for him. I believe it was the work of God, for his benefit.
So how good will you be in 2018? I think we should make doing good a project. The news every day is all about angry people threatening, and shooting, and blowing things up, and the movies are ballets of violence and death. We can do better.
The navy has three words for us “ready, willing, and able.” Give God a chance to send you out the wrong door, and He will, when you don’t expect it. Maybe when you are in a hurry with more important things.
I think this is a great resolution for the New Year; let’s do some good.
And here is some breaking news, and this is the next day after the incident at the mall. After writing this article, I have to do what I said.
A few minutes ago, I heard a loud noise on the street. With some neighbors, I went to the accident scene where an older man had driven his car into three parked cars and ended partly on the sidewalk. The police asked me to take his keys and we helped him inside a warm building. I waved in the fire and ambulance drivers and directed them to the building. The paramedics are with him now.
This could become a habit.
There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore, I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land. (Deuteronomy 15: 11)
And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. (Hebrews 13: 16)
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Mathew 15: 16)