Getting Real About Life, about Love, and about God
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
The Right Question
I shared with you yesterday some of my favorite Martin Luther King Jr. quotes. As I reflected on his sayings and upon our world today I could not help but think of something else he said that I didn't share with you yesterday.
One time when, talking about Jesus teaching on the Good Samaritan, Martin Luther King Jr. said that the difference between the Good Samaritan and the other people who passed by was the question that they asked themselves and how they asked it. He said the priest and the Levite asked themselves the question, "What will happen to me if I stop and help?" The Samaritan asked the question, "What will happen to the man if I don't stop and help?"
Did you catch the difference?
"What will happen to me If I stop?" It is a self centered question. It is all about me. It is all about what I get out it. No thought about the needs of others. No thought about what Jesus would have me do. (oh, by the way, I am not thinking about the priest or Levite anymore. The story is now my story, it is our story, we asks this question in the situation and circumstance of our lives and our world today. Don't we?)
The question that I must ask myself as I think about the people in Haiti, the Aids pandemic in our world, starvation, poverty, homelessness and all other people in need that I see in my world and walking in the streets of Trenton is, "What will happen to them if I don't do anything?"
We have to shift the question from us and our needs to others. That is what Jesus did. He did it in a garden when he knew that his time had come and that he was going to lay down his life for us. He said "not my will but thy will." He didn't say "what is in it for me?" Instead he said "what will happen to them if i don't?"
Following Jesus is a journey that leads us from self-centered to Christ-centered. It is a move from "it is all about me and what I get out it" to "it is not about me, it is about God and what God gets out of it." It is about God's glory and God's love. Not mine. As long as we keep asking the me question we are still in the infancy of our faith.
As you see the one that has been left beside the road that you are traveling on today please stop and ask the right question.
In Christ's love and mine,