“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”― Charles Dickens
We were so exuberant as we left the game on Saturday night. It seemed everyone had stayed to the very end. That meant there were thousands pouring out of the stadium in the dark. When we got to my vehicle, I heard my friend John talking with someone on the other side. I couldn’t see her, but it was a female voice. She and her female friend were asking for a ride because their Uber didn’t show up. I think to Lorena or Bruceville-Eddy (locations south). I was getting in on the drivers’ side and I hollered through the vehicle, “We’re heading to Houston” (east).
As we inched our way out of the crowded parking lot full of cars and people we wondered about the strange interaction. (Bumping into odd characters only happens when playing certain teams each year.) We couldn’t figure out if it had been a real call for help or something else. Uber really would have had a hard time getting in to pick someone up!
Today I thought more about this encounter and wondered. All of us have times of need during the course of our lives. Surely there have been times in your life when you have had to ask or someone has asked you, “Do you need a ride?”
- At some point in our lives we are all going to have practical needs that we can’t solve ourselves. We just won’t be able to get from here to there. Sometimes these are the easiest kinds of problems to help with – they usually have simple solutions. That doesn’t mean that we will always have what it takes to give everyone a ride. But when we can, we ought to do whatever we can.
Give someone a ride this week – you probably don’t even have to ask whey they need but know in your heart what little need you can help to meet.
- We will also have relational needs at some point in our living. We can’t make it on our own without a shoulder to lean on. We’re fools to think we can. We are admonished in the New Testament to help each other to bear our burdens. We need our friends and family to carry the loads that come with traveling the passages of life. It’s supposed to be normal to share these loads together.
“Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. 3 If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.” – Galatians 6:2-3
Give someone a ride this week – renew a relationship, do something anonymous, say a kind word, find some ways to encourage – there are people all around you who need the gift of friendship.
- And of course, maybe without realizing it, we each will encounter our own spiritual needs as we live out the transformation that God is always bringing about in us. We need teachers, mentors and encouragers as we work our way down the path of discipleship.
Give someone a ride this week. You and I need to stop leaving others alone on that road and start opening our eyes to the ways we can mentor, pray, build up, teach, or strengthen. God’s work in others uses ordinary us all the time in supernatural ways.
“Each day we stood almost shoulder to shoulder, occupying the same space, breathing the same air, but we remained strangers.” ― M.A. Stacie
Tomorrow, look around you, there are people near who are trudging through dusty and hard roads. People who need a ride. But we’re too often afraid to stick our neck out. There’s a phenomenon called The Diffusion of Responsibility, the more people standing around during an emergency the less likely any single person feels responsible to help. Maybe we are living too crowded with associates and aren’t building enough genuine closeness? When the bottom falls out, as it always does, there are so many acquaintances but not enough real friends who feel responsible to step in and give you a ride.
What could you do this week to draw a step closer to one of your friends?
To put another nail in building that bridge of responsibility?
“Life’s great happiness is to be convinced we are loved.” ― Victor Hugo