As I was working on the message for Sunday, I discovered an article entitled “Fishers of Humans,” the Contemporary Theory of Metaphor and Conceptual Blending Theory. As exciting as this might sound, I don’t want you to be concerned about me and I promise that the sermon will not include much, if any, of the content of the article. But this led me elsewhere, which then led me elsewhere, and as I was researching, I stumbled upon a story about a seminary professor who recruited fifteen volunteers from his class to meet him at his office at two p.m. – when they arrived, he handed out sealed instructions. Five of the envelopes instructed the recipients to proceed across the campus without delay. They were told, “You have fifteen minutes to reach this place. You have no time to spare. Don’t loiter or do anything else, or your grade will be docked.” These five were coded “The High Hurry Group.”
The next five were instructed that, anytime in the next forty-five minutes, they were to make their way across the campus. They were told, “You’ve plenty of time. But don’t be too slow.” They were coded “The Medium Hurry Group.”
The last five were told that, any time before five o’clock that afternoon, they were to report across campus, and there they would receive further instructions. This group was known as “The Low Hurry Group.”
Unbeknownst to any of these students, the professor had arranged for some drama majors to be situated alongside the path they had to take, simulating great human needfulness. One was sitting with his head in his hands, crying and wailing in a way one couldn’t ignore. Another was lying face down, as if he had had some kind of seizure and was unconscious … all fifteen of the students had to make their way past these obviously needy persons, and here’s what happened.
None of “The High Hurry Group” stopped to see what they could do, although all five of them aspired to be Christian ministers. Two of “The Medium Hurry Group” stopped to try to help. All five of “The Low Hurry Group” made attempts to be responsive.
Tend to your pacing and pay attention to whom and what is on your path.
Scripture Reading: Isaiah 35:8
“A highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Holy Way; the unclean shall not travel on it, but it shall be for God’s people; no traveler, not even fools, shall go astray.”
What helps you to pay attention?
What does a “Holy Way” include?
How can we, as a church, be more fruitful?
Prayer: Holy God, if I get a bit hurried or veer astray remind me to slow down and notice the needs of others. Keep me moving in the direction of the “Holy Way.” Amen.
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