Road Trip: Road Less Traveled
“A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho…” Luke 10:30
When I was first learning to drive, there were certain roads I avoided. These roads were heavily traveled with frequent accidents or roads that were narrow and difficult to navigate. If possible, I would do my best to avoid these roads. I did not want to take any risks. Yet, as I became a more comfortable driver, these roads became less intimidating and soon the difficult roads were less of an issue for me.
In the parable of the Good Samaritan, a man travels down the difficult and dangerous road to Jericho. I wonder if he would have preferred a different path but this was the path he chose that day. Along the way, robbers attack him, strip him, and leave him for dead. While two religious persons pass right by him, it is the Samaritan who stops to tend to the beaten man.
For us, the road less traveled is the road that leads us to tend to the needs of our neighbors. Compassion and mercy are not roads we are always willing to take. We have the roads we prefer to travel like the roads of our busy schedules or “better things to do.” Yet, the Samaritan stops to help, even help someone that he is supposed to despise (for Jews and Samaritans were bitter enemies).
Jesus calls us to take the road less traveled: the road of compassion and love for neighbor. This road will require us to sacrifice our time, resources, and energy. This road can be difficult. But, God wants to use us for ministry in new and exciting ways. If we choose to follow this road, we will not only bless others, but we will be blessed through the work and the love that we share in the name of Jesus. It may take time and practice, but the road will become more comfortable the more we travel it.