Life Lesson from a Shopping Cart

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I walk down a very steep hill on the way home. At the bottom of it laid a shopping cart from Target, stuck in the mud. For years, it laid there and endured the rain, ice, and heat of the seasons. I said to myself before Passover that I was going to get that cart out of there. But Passover came and went and the cart was still in its unenviable position.

I remembered my promise that Thursday after Passover and I said to myself that I would get it out that day if the sun was still up on the way home. I almost forgot again, but as I was about to go down the hill, I saw the sun was still up. So I went down the hill to keep up my word.

The steep incline, the rough terrain, and the cart itself made this simple task quite a challenge. Even though I was using an adjacent fence and the concrete beneath it to pull myself and the cart up the hill, I still had trouble getting to the top. But one of my acquaintances saw me on his way down and helped me the rest of the way. The cart gave me some resistance going back to Target, but once I got the mud out from the left rear wheel it was ready to be put back to work.

When it was all said and done, I realized that a lot of people are stuck like that cart was in the mud. Whether they’re in a bad situation or struggling with some sin, these people have been dealing with these matters for years and many of us do nothing about it. We either have no idea how to help or we slot them in the “Not my problem” category. But all it took for that cart to get out of the mud and back to work was someone who wanted to help.

You may not always know how, but if you have the desire to help someone and put in the work to do it, God will send you the help you need if you ask for it. I didn’t care about my work clothes getting dirty or the difficulty of the task. All I cared about was getting the cart out of the mud and the Lord did the rest.

Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan and His ministry affirm this understanding. Out of the three passersby, only the Samaritan was moved to care for the wounded man on the side of the road. He did what he could and the Lord provided the innkeeper who would nurse the injured man back to full health (Lk. 10:30-37). Jesus Himself saw the people stuck in their sins and was moved to help them (Jn. 3:16).

In both cases, neither party gave regard the challenges they would face. All they cared about was getting their respective parties back on their feet. How much would the world be changed if this desire were carefully cultivated in our own lives!

If you have the will to help others in need, God will make the way for you to do it. Give no thought to the challenges or inconveniences you might suffer. Labor for those in need and your work will not be in vain.

“Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself…” – (Lev. 19:18; Mk. 12:31)

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