Who will your cross-country companion be?

The lives of two Texas state congressmen intersected earlier this month when the they became stranded in the Lonestar State due to massive flight cancellations up and down the East Coast because of a huge late-season snowstorm.

Meet Beto and Will
That’s when the two men–representatives Beto O’Rourke (Democrat, El Paso) and Will Hurd (Republican, San Antonio)–decided they would embark on a 36-hour road trip–together–so that neither one of them would miss the important votes coming up on Capitol Hill.

After securing a rental car, they headed to Washington, D.C. 

Wouldn’t you have wanted to be a fly in that car for the next day and a half? What kind of conversations could these two possibly have? In a not-so-bipartisan world, this was going to be interesting, to say the least.

Their lives intersected
While running a quick errand, you bump into someone you know. In the elevator ride up to your office you stand next to the same people you’ve been standing with for the last five years. Or–just like Beto and Will–you get stuck at the airport with a perfect stranger.

These are intersections–moments in our lives that connect us with friends, foes, and strangers alike.

Is it possible even to count how many we have in one day?

And what are we supposed to do with them?

What would Jesus do?
Jesus paid close attention to these connections, those times when paths “just happen” to cross. 
He seemed to treat them as God-ordained appointments.

In the first verse of John 9, we read, “As he went along . . . he saw a man blind from birth.” This seeing made him stop. He noticed. Then he got involved and healed.

Jesus’ response kind of makes you wonder about the countless other people whose paths crossed with that same blind man every single day, for years. Blind from birth, it seems safe to assume that the beggar was not new to that spot on the street. Did others see him? 

Or did they want to avoid what they assumed could only result in a 36-hour “ordeal?” Kind of like driving cross-country with someone you barely know?

We are invited
“Follow me” was Jesus’ direct invitation to many of his first disciples. And it’s still our invitation: Follow me.

Part of that following involves how we handle our intersections each day. Are we following Jesus and taking time to notice, see, turn toward–not aside–and connect?

Most likely, Jesus was pretty pleased that a March snowstorm that left two lawmakers from opposite sides of the political spectrum grounded, resulted in their taking a road trip. Together.

Back to Beto and Will
While the two lawmakers from neighboring districts said they were never especially close, the trip, they say, made them genuine friends. Genuine enough that they’re considering sharing next Thanksgiving together with their families.

And, yes, they arrived at the Capitol on time, with 30 minutes to spare before the House votes ended.

“I’ve learned a lot about Beto,” Hurd told NPR. “We’ve learned that we can work together on a lot more issues than what we have been.”

What about you?
Are you willing to consider your connections–consider your daily intersections?
Ever wonder what kind of conversations could result if you engaged them?
Are you willing to ask the Lord who you should drive cross-country with?

 

 

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