Thursday, September 25, 2008

Making choices

Abi felt sweat trickle down his back, his teeth gritty from the dust off the hardened road. He shifted the backpack slightly and kept moving.

“All right, you fool, you done your mile,” a gruff soldier growled at him. “I’ll find another.”

But Abi shook his head. “Where are you going?”

“What game are you playing?” the soldier leaned toward him. “You are done! Don’t you know the law? It doesn’t matter where I’m going because you don’t have to go. Now give me my backpack and be off.”

Abi kept walking. “I’ll go on with you. I can carry the backpack another mile.”

The soldier shook his head. “You’re a fool.”

“Yes,” Abi nodded. “I am a fool.” They walked on and then Abi asked, “So where’s your home?”

“Near Rome,” the soldier said. “I’ve only been here a few months.”

They walked on, the soldier’s sandals crunching on the sand.

“Why are you walking on with me?” the soldier asked. “I don’t get it.”

“The first mile was your choice,” Abi said. “The second mile is my choice.”

“No other Jews do this,” the soldier said. “They want freedom, too.”

Abi smiled. “They don’t know Jesus.”

“What has that to do with carrying a backpack?”

“Jesus taught us not to put ourselves first, but to love others.”

The soldier stopped walking. “Even us?”

“Even Roman soldiers.” Abi shifted the backpack again.

“This is something I don’t understand,” the soldier admitted. “Tell me more.”

It is said that followers of Jesus can only do self-sacrificial work if a supernatural work has been done in their heart. It’s that hard to do.

Looking for any backpacks to carry today?

But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you
Matt 5:44

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