April 3rd 2020
One of the great philosophical minds of the 19th century, Danish philosopher and theologian Soren Kierkegaard, writes a poignant meditation on the biblical parable of the Good Samaritan. You know the story well.
One day three men walked down an ordinary, dusty, Middle Eastern dirt road. All were on the same road. Presumably the same day. Nothing special about the road. Yet one man stops and responds in a way that displays the heart of God. That’s the man Jesus elevates and calls our attention towards.
“It’s not the road you travel,” insightfully captures Kierkegaard, “It’s how you travel the road.”
His point is direct and clear. The actual road is NOT of critical concern. It’s actually inconsequential. What’s consequential is how the road is traveled. Three men. Same road. Two men are inattentive and blind to the moment. One man travels with an open heart, turning an ordinary walk into an opportunity to reflect the love and compassion of God. It’s not the road.
I find Christians often getting caught up in what I call “the other road syndrome”— always looking for another, better, easier, grass-is-greener kind of road. It’s our nature. “One day,” we lament, “when I get on the right road, the better road, the more secure road....then I’ll begin traveling with the attentiveness and goodness of the Samaritan.” It’s not the road.
Currently, most of us are on a road we would never choose to travel—it’s a road unimaginable two weeks ago. Given the choice, we’d exit this current road and take the nearest off-ramp. We’re separated from our kids, worried about our parents in their retirement homes, watching our 401ks plummet, wondering if we’ll have a job next month, cautious about doorknobs...... Who would choose this road? It’s a difficult road we’re on. I do not want to make light of our current reality.
But this is our road...for the moment. So let’s engage like the Samaritan. Let’s travel differently.
The apostle Paul reminds us that the reason Christians travel differently is because of our unique wardrobe. We have been given a different set of clothes. Our travel bags possess a special set of garments.
“As God’s chosen people...clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." Colossians 3:12
This is our clothing: God’s grace and courage, as you transform your difficult road this week into a display of God’s transformative power.
- Have you decided to accept this road you are on, or are you still focused on the “other” road?
- What would it look like in your life to be the Good Samaritan during this time?
- If you’d like, share a story with us about how you or someone else is walking this road with compassion, kindness and patience. We would love to hear about it! Email Bruce your story »