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I just saw a video on Facebook that depicted a young man wearing “Christian Regalia” on his person and who had Christian symbols on his car. This same young man talking on his cell phone walked by a woman who had dropped her groceries without noticing the woman’s distress—and, of course, not stopping to help. I shared the video on my timeline because I thought it had an important message. Then I had to stop and think. When am I the “young man” talking on my cell phone oblivious to my fellow human beings and their needs?

Frankly, this line of thought makes me nervous. As a child the “Good Samaritan” bible story was my favorite. Yet, here I am afraid to stop to pick up a hitchhiker, afraid to roll down my window in my locked car at night when a man of color taps on my window, reluctant to give money to strangers who ask for it because I don’t want to support their drug or alcohol habit…..these are all things I do. Or don’t do, in terms of reaching out to others. Am I prudent?  Or am I failing to do as Christ would have me do?

Granted, I am immersed in what I think of as “my mission”—-spreading spiritual ideas in meetings, in most of my actions, and in writing. But there are still those times when another human being may or may not be in need of my help, and I don’t notice or I look the other way.

Last night in a meeting, I said that in recovery we have to help ourselves before we can help anyone else. If we don’t take care of ourselves, we will have nothing to share of value with others.  I would like to think the times when I look the other way are instances of taking care of myself so I will be able to help others in need.

But, what about the other times when I am so wrapped up in my own situation that I don’t even notice someone may need my help or a listening ear? It is at times like this when I am thinking these types of thoughts  that I am glad I can ask my God for forgiveness for “things done and not done” over and over again. When I was feeling prideful not too long ago, I asked why repeating the same prayer for forgiveness several times a day was necessary. Wasn’t doing so a sign that I wasn’t serious about my prayers or about keeping my word to God?

Now, when I am able to practice humility and get my “ego-I” out of the way, I can admit that I sin and don’t even know it. Sin to me is anything that separates me from God’s love.  And when I am so wrapped up in myself that I don’t notice what God would have me do, then I am definitely guilty of “things not done.” I need to ask God to forgive my oversight and help me be more aware of what he would have me do. I also ask every morning for the courage to carry that out.  I still don’t know if I will have the courage to roll my window down or open my door to a stranger, but I have a feeling there are lot more things out there God wants me to do than things that might endanger my safety.

Enjoy this beautiful day. Take a deep breath. Thank Creator for both the day and the breath. May God bless and keep you.