“Walk on the left side after dark or you’ll wind up playing a harp.” So said Barney Fife in his report to the state entitled, “Safety Procedures on Country Roads.”
Walking on the wrong side of the road is dangerous and the reason for laws stating one should walk facing the traffic and wear bright colored clothing. Those who don’t obey risk getting run over.
Jesus told a story about three walkers: a Jewish priest, a Levite, and a hated half-breed Samaritan. Only the third chose to walk on the right side. Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. (Luke 10:33-34 NLT).
Walking on the right side takes courage and involves loving those it’s easier to justify not loving. The priest and the Levite chose not to love…to walk on the wrong side, because helping a wounded man or touching a dead person would interrupt their busy schedule and defile them.
Sauntering on the right side forces me to widen my scope of who my neighbor is. Neighbors aren’t simply people close to me, similar in lifestyle, or individuals I enjoy spending time with but are anyone in need.
Strolling on the right side also keeps my focus outward instead of inward. Needs can pass me by if I’m not looking for them in the first place. When I happen to see one, inward focus will cause me to make excuses why I can’t act.
Walking on the right side places me in obedience to God, leads me to love everyone, and makes me eager to help anyone in need. If you’re staggering along on the wrong side, what can you change to switch to the right side?
Prayer: Eternal God, as You have walked on the right side to intervene in our behalf, so challenge us to do for others what You’ve done for us.
*Episode 70 “The Cow Thief”
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