35 Driveways

This morning I was running the half mile loop in which our house happens to sit at the beginning and end of. The other day I counted 35 driveways on this loop. That has no point to the story but made for a catchy post title. On the other street over a young teen came running out of his house to catch the bus which was turning the corner and heading up the street. It started to come to a stop at a house as he ran and his older sister came out the door. When the boy got to the bus he stopped and started heading back telling his sister it was the wrong bus.

The point of this post isn’t to tell you that story but to share what goes through someone’s head who is on the looking for ways God may be creating opportunities to connect with others. I started wondering if these kids would need a ride to school.

Could I be the one to take them? I would have to run home to tell my wife. Would she be ok with that? Is that weird to take two strange teenagers to school? Are their parents at work? Would that be weird for them for me to take their kids to school? Would they be grateful? Would they say, get away from our family you freaky stalker? Would I have to talk to them on the phone?

But when I came around the second time it looks like they were warming their car up. Someone must have been getting ready to take them. Here’s my whole point. Isn’t it interesting what goes through our mind when a potential opportunity arises to help someone? All these “what ifs” pop into our mind. “What if he spends all that money on alcohol” “What if I stop to help the stranded man and he pulls a knife on me” “What if the guy with the sign is just a scammer” “What if I’m late to work” “I’m sure someone else will stop and help” And on and on.

I bet this kind of mindset has created millions of missed opportunities. Here’s a what if. What if we didn’t stop to talk ourselves out of it and just did something.

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  1. What if…This too, happened to me one day. Michaela had just got on the Middle School bus – which is the last bus through our neighborhood in the AM. I hop in my car & start out of the neighborhood. I see a girl on the corner. I don’t know her – but I’ve seen her around. I know she goes to the High School. It’s very cold outside. I know she’s missed her bus (it comes before MIchaela’s). What do I do?

    I roll down the window. I know I’m going to be late to work – but I think they’d understand. I tell her she’s missed the bus. Her face drops. I know both of her parents work. Ok – so what to do. Same questions – will I be thought of as the neighborhood stalker? Lord give me the words.

    You guessed it. She gratefully accepted the ride. A bit of an akward ride, since we had almost nothing to chat about. She arrived at school in time not to be late. I’ve not seen her around since – but hopefully she knows that there are kind folks out there.

    1. Wow – Cool story. What’s sad (I’m not sure that’s the right word) is that most folks would expect for a stranger (even a neighborhood stranger) to NOT offer to help. I bet most folks assume for the most part their on their own to figure life out. My friend Gabe talks about this on his blog. It’s pretty cool. Read about it here

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