It all started at 6 am Friday morning December 1st 2006. I had prepared for another day of work via the long commute into town. Recently I have had a feeling inside to be prepared for the unexpected, thus I took my snow gloves and a hat. Off I pulled out of the driveway to head for work. After a short part of the drive I noticed a peculiar sound coming from the front of the car but dismissed this noise as being caused by snow and/or ice. As I pulled closer to a lighted area I decided to pull over just to check. A simple problem with a simple solution met my eyes…
I saw the source of the noise.. a flat tire. I had a spare in the back so I fussed around the back of the car to get things going. To my disappointment there was no tire iron to remove the bolts off the rim. I thought this too was a simple issue to deal with and walked over to the phone that was at this closed gas station. The words “out of order” met my eyes, along with “NO PUBLIC use of phone inside” in bold letters. The simple problem with a simple solution was starting to get less simple. Next I decided to get everything ready (the jack under the car and the spare in place ready to swap tires). With all of these disappointments happening I’d simple hold out my thumb and ask for help from the next passerby. I use the word “passerby” on purpose! Now this is out in the country where once upon a time people looked out for each other and were more than happy to be of assistance to a needy neighbour. Many vehicles passed by, and those that did stop had this dialog repeated over and over:
Me: Hi I have a flat tire but for some reason I am missing my tire iron, could I use yours?
Driver: Sorry I don’t/can’t help you. (some laughed saying I don’t even have a spare tire of my own haha).
What amazed me is that most people a) didn’t even stop to see what this stranded person on a country road at -10 C temperatures at 6 am is needing help for b) those who did stop almost exclusively tried to convince me they didn’t even have a tire iron in their vehicle. c) offered no further help such as want to use my cell phone or need a drive.
This is easy to get discouraged and vow to never help anyone again etc.. etc.. but I choose something else. When I have been on the other side of these times, I would say 90% of the time I have stopped and gone the extra mile to help. Why? Because that is what Jesus did all His life. Why the 10% of not picking up? The 10% relates exclusively to hitch-hickers, not broken down cars needing help with a plea for help. Naturally I had expected as I do to others that something would do for me, but alas no-one would/could help me. How did thing send up….?
After 1 hour of coming to realise the “new” world we live in I had a little talk with Jesus about the situation. I believe He was showing me a few things, that spiritually there are many who need help but many passerby’s. With the unfolding lesson forming in my heart, I drove home with the flat tire, pulled out the tire iron out of the shed and changed the tire in a total of 10 minutes. Then I drove off to work for the second attempt now 7:30 am. I was glad to find out the tire “somehow” was under warranty and would be replaced free of charge, but somehow I now have a greater burden for those people who couldn’t help, couldn’t give 10 minutes out of their day. You can fix a tire, a car, being late for work but how do you fix a diseased heart?
My vision from this will be to train up my children to do to others what Jesus would do for them. The more this world can see Jesus, the more hearts we will see healed from this disease of self. We don’t need to see more spiritual gifts (though I don’t negate their purpose and fruit) we don’t need more programs to bring people to Christ, we don’t need anything truly but the Life of Jesus operating within. Jesus said in the book of John:
“I pray not that you take them out of the world, but rather to keep them from the evil one”.
… added from my wife: start…
I just read it. Hm