Sunday, May 3, 2009

Passed By

As I was reading the story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10, I was struck by the phrase "he passed by on the other side." I know this is a classic story, and there are probably a billion stories and poems based off this, but I felt that I should try my hand at it. I was trying to come up with a poem for the Levite and the Priest who passed by the man, something like:

A certain man was cold and hungry
I was in a hurry
He looked anxiously at me
But still I passed by

Nothing could come to me the night I was studying this. I will probably come back to it because I like that concept and I think I just wrote something I can work with. This is what I wrote the night I studied this. I haven't been able to post it because it was finals week for my wife.

Cold and wet, stuck on the freeway side
Left without a spare
Everyone was in a hurry
But I was being passed by

Lost in the midst of a crowd
Looking for my way home
Everyone was in a hurry
But I was being passed by

Hungry and tired, without a penny
Couldn't find shelter
Everyone was in a hurry
But I was being passed by

Out of luck and in despair
His kind eyes looked at me
He was in a hurry
But I was not passed by

I am the secretary in my church's young men's group. About two weeks ago, during a combined (young men and young women) youth activity, they conducted a scavenger hunt. I drove four young men that were anxious to win the activity. Being the competitive person that I am, I wanted to help them win. It started out as a normal scavenger hunt. We went to a grocery store and found the price for honey and butter. Supposedly a girl from our church dropped something (at least she was supposed to), but I didn't even see it. Then, we went to a movie theater to write down the times and prices of all of the PG movies. There was a lady there with her hood up. That was when I got a little suspicious. One of the young men recognized her, so asked her if she needed help. She said that her husband was coming. We completely skipped one store because we could answer it ourselves. Later we found that there was another lady needed help when she knocked over a display, but we weren't there because we were in a hurry to win. I noticed as we were driving back to the church a man on the side of the road changing his tire. This wasn't actually part of the activity, but still I didn't stop because I wanted these young men to win.

When we got back to the church, we were the first ones there. We had to wait about ten minutes before another group even showed up. As the leader of the activity brought in all of the people that needed help, I began to realize that we were not the winners at all. Because we were in such a hurry, passing by people who needed help we were actually losing the activity. So it is with our lives. As we get caught up in winning all of our activities--improving our employment status, succeeding in school, increasing our standard of living--we tend to pass by those in need, and by so doing we lose the true activity.

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