THURSDAY, September 3

Mark 15:12-21. They compelled a passer-by…

Years ago I took forty young people on a mission trip to an Indian reservation. In Nebraska we discovered that our bus company planned to drop us off and return in three weeks. However, our contract called for the bus to remain with us as our only transportation. The dispatcher informed the driver, who was expecting a one-day run, that he had half an hour to get ready for three weeks on the road.

Over coffee on a break, I learned he had dropped out of college and was driving that bus to support his family. His dream was to be a coach. I mentioned that none of the youth leaders on this trip had any athletic ability. He agreed not just to be our driver, but also our athletic director.

In some ways, this young man felt life was passing him by as he drove a bus instead of finishing college. Our mix-up could have caused him to sit sullenly by his bus, watching our mission trip pass by. But instead he got involved, and we all benefitted. Since that day, I have sought to embrace unexpected incursions as opportunities to learn or grow or give, rather than sit passively and watch as they pass me by.

PRAY for the Diocese of Soroti (Uganda)

Ps 37:1-18 * 37;19-42; 1 Kings 11:1-13; James 3:13-4:12

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