Back First-Person: Generational connections sermon gets put to test in real world situation
September 20th, 2012
Brentwood Baptist member Steve Blume published this post on his blog in response to a sermon preached by Kairos Pastor Aaron Bryant on Sunday, August 19. Click here to watch or listen to the sermon online.
The sermon at our church that Sunday morning [on August 19] had been on crossing generations and helping younger people if you were older and older people if you were younger.
During the prayer, the pastor asked us to pray that God would place someone in our path, and that we would have an opportunity to do something or help them. I had a pretty long prayer list of things already, but complied since he asked directly. So much for world peace and eliminating hunger.
That afternoon turned out to be sunny and clear with the temperature in the mid-80s, so my wife Nancy and I put on our shorts and running shoes and headed out to tackle the Red Trail at Percy Warner Park.
This extremely hilly loop is almost five miles long through deep woods, and is cut through hillsides, tree roots, and rock. We parked our car, ascended the trailhead to the loop connection, and were looking at the sign determining our direction when a young family stumbled down the trail.
On a better day, this young 30-ish couple would have looked like Ken and Barbie, but not today.
On his shoulders was a precious 3-year-old girl who was not very happy at the moment. He was drenched, with sweat pouring down his face. The 5-year-old boy was on an adventure and still exploring, unconcerned, which was totally opposite from his mother.
“Sir,” the dad asked, “can you tell us how to get back to the park entrance, the one with the long stairs? We’ve been walking for over two hours and must have missed a turn. We thought we were close. We started on a short walk from those stairs and are really lost.”
Like a Boy Scout who is always prepared, I pulled out my trusty iPhone and turned on the GPS mapping program. It quickly pulled up the park map and put a blinking dot where we were. I then pointed on the map to his destination.
His heart sank as he showed his wife so she could share in the agony as the reality of their situation set in. They had a long way to go.
I could not imagine him dragging his sweet family on a death march down this trail for several more miles. “Our car is just down the path, so let us drive you to yours,” I offered.
Their defenses were on full alert since we just met them on a trail, so I joked, “You don’t look like hijackers to me.” I knew how bad he wanted to get that kid off his shoulders and get back home, so he at least was considering the offer.
Suddenly his wife said to my wife, “I think I know you. You go to Brentwood Baptist Church and sit in the balcony in front of us!”
Questions followed questions and connections were made. My wife actually knew her mother and started putting it all together. Happily, they took us up on our offer of the ride, along with the extra waters in our cooler we added for some unknown reason.
We didn’t save their lives, but we certainly saved their day. We were at the exact place at the exact time. I couldn’t help but wonder if they sat in the same service we did and, during prayer time, had the same prayer as us.
If so, both of them were answered.
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