Friday, March 1, 2024

Good Sam - Martin Wiles

good Sam
Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him.
 Luke 10:33 NLT

“Hey, you boys need a ride.”

Eleven miles. Not far if you zoom down a road at interstate speed. A long way, however, if you are a young boy pedaling a bicycle. And my cousin and I were young and pedaling. 

My cousin lived next door to my maternal grandparents. When I stayed with them some during the summer, he and I hung around together. Since Vance, South Carolina, found her home in the country, we concocted games to play and things to do. One involved riding our bicycles. He had his, and Mom and Dad brought mine and left it so I could join him. Video games had not been invented, so nothing existed to keep us inside. In fact, we hated the indoors. The outside called our name continuously. 

One day, my cousin said, “Let’s ride our bicycles to Holly Hill,”—the next town over and eleven miles down the road. I’m not sure our wisdom led us to consider how far eleven miles was. Or to think about other things like carrying water. 

I don’t remember how long it took us to pedal to Holly Hill. Although we had to ride on a major highway to get there, doing so wasn’t so dangerous because traffic was light. I also don’t remember what we did when we got there. Probably rode around town. After all, we didn’t know anyone. Nor do I recall how long we stayed. Come to think of it, I don’t even think we told my grandparents about our destination or plans. We had a habit of just disappearing when we wanted to do something we thought they might disapprove of. 

After a while, we set out for home. About halfway home, our young legs gave way. We got off our bikes and began pushing. That’s when “Good Sam” stopped and asked, “You boys want a ride?”

My cousin knew a lot of people in the area—he lived there—but he didn’t know Good Sam. We shrugged our shoulders and said, “Sure.”

“Where you going?” he asked. We told him the name of our granddaddy. He knew him, so we didn’t have to provide directions. “Throw your bikes in the back of the truck and hop in.” 

We did, and in a short minute, we were home. I don’t know whether my grandmother ever found out about our little escapade, but we were glad Good Sam came along. 

Jesus also told a story about a Good Sam—Samaritan, that is. A man was walking from one town to another when thieves robbed him, beat him, and left him for dead. Two church folks came by, gave him a look, and passed to their destination. The Samaritan who came by, however, stopped, tended to the man’s wounds, took him to a hotel, and paid the bill. 

Being a Good Sam in today’s world can prove dangerous. I’ve let quite a few opportunities to be one slip by because I was unsure whether the person who needed help really needed help. How could I know they were on the up and up? What if they robbed me when I tried to assist them?

Yet, if I let fear rule, I’ll never help anyone. In such times, asking God for wisdom, listening to the small voice of His Spirit, and heeding our inner alarm makes good sense. If none of these bother us, we need to help. After all, God puts people in our path, and the second greatest command is to love our neighbor—which includes assisting them when they need help. 

I don’t know whether my “Good Sam” had prayed for opportunities to help, but doing so is a good idea. This lets God know we want to get involved in His Kingdom work. It shows our heart to Him—and to us. 

Ask God to send you some “Good Sam” opportunities. 

Father, give me opportunities to be a good Sam in my world. 

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