Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Sometimes it is Good to be Foolish!

Meditation for the week of November 8, 2009

Matthew 7:12  "Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

The other day, I did one of the most foolish things that I have done in quite a well.  I got involved in a potentially violent situation outside the library in our home town.

As I came out of the library, a girl was sitting there with a cell phone in her hand.  She yelled at me to do something.  Her girl friend was being held on the ground by a young man.  I would guess they were all between 16 and 20 years old.  At first I thought they were all just having fun and were scuffling; but as I looked at the situation, I could see no reason for a young lady to be on the sidewalk leading to a back door of the library with a young man over her holding her down.  They were in full view of the street;  but there was no one on the street, and no one was coming out of the library—except me.  It was just getting dark.  So without thinking, I yelled at the young fellow and told him to let her go.  He seemed startled and looked at me.  When he did the young lady was able to get to her feet even though the young man was still holding her by her wrists.  I yelled at him again to let her go, and when I did the girl broke free and ran for the library.  I turned as though nothing had happened and walked to my car.  Fortunately, the young man did not follow me.  He probably thought that anyone foolish enough to confront him was probably an expert in the martial arts or was packing heat.  If he thought that, he was wrong.

Now if I had thought that situation through, I would not have done what I did.  I am not sure if the young lady was in real danger or not, but obviously, I could have put myself in real danger.  And maybe I did.  It just may be that there are angels who take care of us in situations like this.  All I know is that my rational side says that what I did was foolish.  But if it was foolish, then why does it feel so good to have done it?   I am not a fighter unless it would be in a debate or word duel.  I have lost a few friends because I usually don’t lose those fights.  But when it comes to physically winning a fight, I don’t remember that ever happening.  I do remember as a youth being on my own back a few times because of some of the juvenile delinquents who lived in our neighborhood.

So why does this foolishness seem so good?  Because what I did was the right thing to do.  It fulfilled the golden rule that I have quoted above.  That young gal could have been one of my daughters.  Would I have walked off then?  It could have been my wife.  Would I have hoped someone would help her?  We are to do what we would want others to do for us.  I would want someone to get involved and to help if it was me or my loved ones or my friends being attacked.  But it would have been awfully easy to have said, “I don’t know these people, this is not my responsibility.  I don’t want to get involved.”  And frankly, if I had thought the situation through, I am sure that is exactly what I would have done.  I am no hero. 

I know that the Lord understands our weakness.  He calls it sin.  I realize that we don’t go to heaven by keeping the golden rule, we get to heaven by having our sins forgiven.  That happens when we put our trust in the Lord Jesus who was willing to take the punishment that our sins deserved.   We fall so short of keeping the golden rule that we really should understand why we need to be saved from the punishment that we deserve for constantly breaking this law. 

I have been thinking about how different life would be if Wall Street, business men, insurance companies and the government all operated by this rule.  Some organizations and individuals do operate this way, but most do not.   It usually isn’t profitable to do this.  When banks foreclose, when insurance companies won’t pay, when the government  is more concerned about lobbyists than it is about doing what is right, when Wall Street pays its key people extravagant bonuses after getting the working man’s tax dollars, they are just doing “business”.   It is common place to say, “business is business, there is nothing personal about the decisions we are making.”  

But once in a while, we do something contrary to nature and we do what we ought to do even if what we do makes no logical sense.  I suspect that the Lord smiles when that happens.

Bruce Collins

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