May 20, 2014 by Pappafish
Earlier this spring I was sitting in a left turn lane waiting for the green arrow that would send me on my way to lunch. I glanced down and saw what I thought was a $5 bill laying crumpled and peaking from under the snow in the gutter beneath my window. I only saw enough to be 50% sure it was legitimately a $5 bill.
I knew I had only seconds to decide if I should unbuckle, put the truck in park, get out and investigate. I also knew that the crossing traffic light had gone yellow and I would be backing up traffic if I were to get out which would undoubtedly get a few impatient honks and maybe even some sort of salute if you know what I mean. But the thought of a free cheeseburger and fries was too tempting, so I slammed the truck into park, jumped out and freed the scrap of paper from it’s icy bondage. To my delight I was rewarded with a soggy, but still valid Federal Reserve Note which I could immediately return to circulation. Well, maybe I’d let it dry for a day first.
I have noticed coins laying in the gutter in this exact situation before. Pennies; stopping never crossed my mind. Nickels; likewise. I recently drove off on a quarter, but I did check my rearview mirror on that one. If it hadn’t been for the 3 cars behind me, I would have most certainly dove into the gutter for those 2 bits.
So, looking back on it, my stopping price is somewhere between $.25 and $5. What is yours????
This experience got me thinking. In general, what will we stop for? At what expense will we interrupt our busy schedule to get involved in an unexpected detour. Would you stop if you drove past a women on the freeway, alone, with a flat? Would you consider the time of day or the traffic, or the proximity to the nearest town before you pulled over? It could cost you being late for work, or not getting home at your usual time. Everyone has cell phones now, surely she can call her husband or father or ?.
What about if you saw kids rough-housing on the playground. Would you slow enough to try and figure out if both children were willing partners in this tet-a-tet? Would you stop if it was obvious he or she was not? The price is somewhere between $Not-worth-my-time and $Emotionally-too-costly.
As followers of Christ, I believe, our obligation (and reward) come into play here. We ARE CALLED to be vested in other peoples struggles, but rarely do we heed. It is too easy in our society to be sealed in the sanitary plastic wrapper of home/car/cell phone conversation, isolated from the plight and suffering of others, however minute it may seem to us at the time.
As Paul said – “I am chief among the sinners” and I think I am most often guilty of driving off into the sunset, or to lunch. I can usually play the “get out of jail free” card that all of us introverts keep in our mental wallets. My personality type doesn’t enjoy personal interaction. God wired me that way so surely he won’t hold me accountable for walking past. I’m sure he has one of those “Type A” persons in the queue and ready to get involved any minute now. Thanks FaceBook for helping me understand myself better – I took the quiz and I’m off the hook.
Alas – Me thinks not. I guess I’ll be stopping for the pennies.