Today, I want to remind you of something important: you cannot help people and be in a hurry. Yesterday, we talked about becoming compassionate listeners and how, by opening our ears and hearts up to others, the Holy Spirit can use us to bring healing to the world. However, if we’re moving too quickly to see and notice needs, we’re rendered ineffective, because haste is a compassion killer. In the story of the Good Samaritan, the priest and the Levite were consumed with their religious duties, so it didn’t occur to them to stop and help a fellow Jewish man. Though he was lying on the ground nearly dead, they stepped over his bleeding body and continued on their way — after all, they had places to go and people to see. Thankfully, a Samaritan, who was part of a less “religious” culture, happened to pass by and take pity on the injured Israelite. Despite being a member of a despised race, his heart was moved with mercy, so he knelt down to bind up the man’s wounds and paid for him to stay at a hotel while he recovered. And while there are many things this famous parable teaches, it demonstrates that healing a friend — or even an enemy — is not as much about character, beliefs, or principles as it is about putting aside our own agenda. In other words, it’s a matter of making time. God did not clutter our lives, and He’s not going to declutter them either — it’s up to us. In order to be true ambassadors of His Kingdom on earth, we need to evaluate our priorities, elevate His perspective, and make every effort to put people first.
My friend, you reflect the presence of Jesus most powerfully when you slow down. By living unhurried, despite being in a fast-paced and uptight world, you bring God’s easy rhythms of grace to everyone you encounter. By refusing to rush — only to check another thing off your list — you demonstrate the love of a Savior who laid Himself aside to make time for others. Even in the midst of busyness, He invites you to keep an open heart, open hands, and an open mind that’s ready, willing, and able to make an unexpected detour in order to show someone else how much they matter.