Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Boundaries

“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” Galatians 6:10

“…be prepared in season and out of season…” 2 Timothy 4:2

During last Sunday’s message I shared a story from our family’s St. Cloud trip. We were downtown during homecoming, students lined the streets, and we had a brief errand before heading to the mall on the other side of town. A young woman approached us, somewhat impaired if not inebriated, wanting a ride. After initial hesitation, we gave her a ride to her apartment while listening to a most unique monologue that featured many repeated questions about where we went to school, about Bekah’s and Nathan’s relationship (including a comparison with her “dorky” brother that she loved), and pronouncements of “that’s a win-win” on every answer.

I’ve been examining my thoughts and feelings about this, and wonder:

Why was I surprised to be asked for a ride?

Why was I hesitant to help?

Why did her unusual conversation catch me off guard?

I was surprised because, in our culture, people have stopped asking for help from strangers except in emergency or highly structured situations. Strangers are risky. And, in the rare instances like this when they do ask, one wonders if they’re trying to take advantage or might be dangerous.

I was hesitant because I was focused on our errands and family time together, rather than being open to whatever God brought along. Theoretically I know that serving Him means being “prepared in season and out of season” but, selfishly, I was not ready for anything but the expected. Shame on me!

Chances are she was not a believer – and she had obviously been drinking (I’m glad Nathan didn’t light a match in the back seat) – so of course her conversation was going to be less inhibited, more unique than normal.

Hindsight may always be 20/20, but this has made me more resolved to be open, even prepared, for the unique opportunities God brings along – not to erect boundaries where He has none – and more ready to share the gospel in situations like this.

2 comments:

Qtpies7 said...

Wow, you took that in a totally different direction than I was expecting with the title.

I am dealing with boundary issues, but more of the "Get out of my space" variety, lol. No idea how to handle it, though.

I'm Losing It! said...

I believe God had numerous reasons for putting this young woman in your path, (or you in her path as the case may be).

1. The girl got a safe ride home.

2. It was a great opportunity for you to show your kids how to be the hands and feet of Christ in real life.

3. If the girl remembers any of this experience at all, you may have just planted a seed in her heart.

Thanks for sharing this story, we all need to be more open to helping others and "getting involved" when we'd rather just stay in our own little comfort zones.