People are Never Obstacles
Monday - May 10th
Scripture to Read Today: Luke 9:10-17
Then he took them with him and they withdrew by themselves to a town called Bethsaida, but the crowds learned about it and followed him. He welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing.
In Luke 9, Jesus commissioned His disciples to go out and minister in His name. When they returned from a very effective trip, Jesus decided to take them to Bethsaida to rest and debrief. Taking time to relax and reflect is a core part of their training. He knew they would need sabbaths in the years of ministry ahead of them. But they were interrupted by a crowd of people who were pursuing Jesus with their needs. They knew Jesus could help them. Even though Jesus had prior plans, he stopped to help the people in their need. Jesus never saw people as an obstacle.
If you are like me, you like to set out on a task and get it done. But, I am also a person easily distracted. So, I work hard to stay focused on the task at hand.
Lesli might ask me to stop at the grocery store on the way home and pick up something we need. As I leave the car, I tell myself not to get distracted. I commit to avoiding deep conversations with other shoppers I might know. Usually, I get sidetracked by a sign advertising a great deal, some new item on the shelf that grabs my attention, or I see a friend and make my way across the store to them. More often than not, I take more time than I planned. Frequently, Lesli calls to see where I am.
There are certain days when I stop by the store, and I am doing well. I keep my focus. On those visits, I see a neighbor, a friend, or a member of the Calvary family. That person may even cross the store to chat with me. It is too easy to see the person in front of me as an obstacle on those occasions. The story of Luke chapter nine reminds us that Jesus never saw people as obstacles. He always stopped. He always listened to their stories and their hearts. He met their needs.
As we continue to emerge into a post-COVID world, it is essential that we not overlook the people the virus kept us from seeing. We must slow down and care for those in our path. God put them there. The intersection of our lives might be the God-moment they needed with another human being. Our COVID year stories are all different. The challenges we experienced were not the same. But, now, as we move into a post-pandemic world, people need us. They hunger for human connection. They have longed for a conversation that was not a part of a phone call or a zoom meeting. And, we need people.
Today as you tackle tasks, build in some breathing room to talk with others in your path. Allow others to catch you up on their lives. We all need real, live people right now. Be ready to be that for someone today.
Jesus never saw people as obstacles. He was fully present with and ministered to the person in his path at that moment!