If you aren't taking action to make things better, you're an obstacle to change.
I often take the bus back and forth to Baltimore because my mom lives there. One summer night, when I was on my way to visit mommy, the bus driver abruptly pulled over onto the shoulder of the highway.
Everyone on the bus started looking around and waited for answers, but the bus driver never made an announcement. A few minutes later, the bus was moving again but we got off the next exit.
I assumed we were headed to a gas station, but I was wrong. The bus driver suspiciously drove us through a residential neighborhood, and I felt like I was in a horror movie—it was pitch black outside and we couldn't see a thing.
Where is she taking us?
I could hear some of the people on the bus whisper to each other and say, "What is the bus driver doing?" My exact thoughts. I didn't get up to find out what was going on, though.
After about twenty minutes of driving through a bunch of creepy neighborhoods, I checked my phone's GPS and saw that we were going the right way but taking the scenic route.
As we got closer to the bus stop in Baltimore, the driver took us back to the highway. We were an hour behind schedule, but I was happy to finally get off the bus.
It's funny how quickly our emotional state can change because my happiness suddenly turned into frustration. The bus driver missed the exit for the bus stop!
Almost in unison, people on the bus screamed, "What the heck!" And I laughed. I mean, at that point, all you really could do was laugh.
What is the bus driver doing? Is she not paying attention to her GPS? So many questions that I wanted answers to, but I continued to remain seated.
The woman sitting across the aisle from me asked the lady next to her for the name of the location we were supposed to get off at. When the lady told her, she ran to the driver with her phone in hand.
She came back about fifteen minutes later, and I overheard her explain to her friend, who was seated nearby, what was going on.
The route we were on was not the bus driver's normal route. She made a detour through the residential neighborhood because she received a notification that there was an accident on the highway. The bus driver didn't have a GPS and had to call the person who's route she was covering to ask for directions.
I was eavesdropping on the women's conversation with her friend, and something she said struck me like an arrow. "The bus driver needed help. Everyone has their phones out trying to figure out what she's doing, but not one person got up to ask her if she needed help."
She was right.
The woman taught me a very valuable lesson: always have a "how can I help you" mentality. I knew that I should've gotten up to find out what was going on and offered my assistance if needed, but I stayed seated like everyone else.
Maybe we would've even gotten to Baltimore faster if I offered my help. Who knows. What I do know is I chose not to participate in a solution, and therefore I was a part of the problem.
"A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed."
- Proverbs 11:25
Someone shouldn't have to ask for help for it to be offered—especially in a situation where you already know something is wrong. God commonly deals with us according to the measure by which we deal with those around us.
The more you practice a "how can I help you" mindset, the more it will permeate every area of your life. When you meet people, instead of thinking about what they can do for you, think about how you can help them in their endeavors.
As you give your time, resources, and help generously to others, you'll see generosity being returned to you in ways you couldn't even imagine.
Through parables, Jesus taught his disciples the importance of giving.
The Unsuspecting Giver: Luke 8:1–15
The Compassionate Giver: Luke 10:25-37
The Fake Giver: Luke 18:22
The Transformed Giver: Luke 19:8
Let us use these examples as a reminder of the kind of giver God wants us to be. Generosity is a lifestyle that must be cultivated.
What's one thing you can do to apply today's message to your life? As always, I'd love to hear from you. Head on over to the blog with your thoughts, stories, and questions. I look forward to chatting with you.
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You were born to do great things.