While driving up a highway I hardly ever drive, to somewhere I have never been, I did something I have never done before. I picked up a hitchhiker. Apparently he needed to hear about reconciliation and I was the next stop on his God journey…
18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
20 We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us
I am not sure why I did. As I came around a corner I saw a young guy with a backpack with his thumb out and I pulled over before I knew what was happening. We enjoyed a half hour of driving and getting to know each other. He said his name was Silver, and he had been traveling the world for three years.
He grew up in Tahiti and his family now lives in Montreal. Within a couple of minutes he mentioned He faith and I followed along. He shared that he was brought up in the Christian faith and attended a Christian school in Tahiti, but was wronged in some way by the people there and that created bitterness. He overcame his feelings while practicing Buddhism. He also mentioned meeting someone in India who shared his soul (which he could see in their eyes). This dude had been around…
I couldn’t figure out what the conversation was supposed to be about until he mentioned that he had never been in a relationship with a girl for longer than two weeks. Now, I wouldn’t even call two weeks a relationship, yet who am I to judge… I asked why he thought that was, and he said that he, like all of us, has an Oedipus complex in which he desires to find someone who fulfills everything his mother is (that might be the rated G version if you don’t follow the link). The problem is that he and his mother are in conflict, and so every relationship ends up (very quickly it appears) in a similar conflict state.
I asked him why he is conflict with his mother, which really seemed to be what the whole drive was about. Mom doesn’t agree with his lifestyle, and believes it is unsafe for him to be traveling around the globe, homeless. Now, she may have a point about safety, yet he seemed to have that figured out. His approach was essentially Golden-Rule-based and it was keeping him out of trouble. Mom’s, however, will be Mom’s.
So why not reconcile? Ahhh… now we’re in this month’s wheelhouse. Because she won’t. I want to, but she… she won’t. All she wants to do is fight.
I asked Silver what if you decided to not fight back. Then what would happen? Silence.
I explained the essence of Romans 12:18 to him, and then told him the story of going to apologize to someone earlier this week even though I didn’t think I had done anything wrong. He asked why I would do that. I explained that to me, the relationship with that person (and her family as it happens) is more important to me than being right. I am willing to be wrong in order to make things right.
I had Silver’s attention. I asked him what he thought about my story. He told me I was wise, and he said that I was humble. I wasn’t fishing for compliments. I was looking for him to think about applying these ideas to his own situation. And so I explained that essentially, what I was doing was trying to follow Jesus.
You see, Silver, Jesus took the blame for me when he took the penalty for me on the cross. He was willing to do that even though he didn’t do anything wrong… silence.
I asked Silver what he would do if he found his future wife at his destination. What if she was waiting there for him and his unreconciled issues with his Mom made it so that his opportunity slipped away forever. We both laughed. And then I said, wouldn’t that be tragic?
We were nearing the fork in the highway where I was going one way and he the other. I told him he was the first hitchhiker I have ever picked up. I offered that I wasn’t sure why I stopped for him. And then I asked him why he thought we had a chance to meet each other. “Jesus wanted us to meet,” he replied. “That’s happened to me several times.” He was half-sarcastic, like his drivers believed in divine intervention, but he didn’t. I realized that I was part of Silver’s journey.
Silver told me that nothing in any of our lives ever happens by chance or coincidence. No argument there… We pulled up to the turn-off and I stopped the car. On the corner across the street stood a young woman with a backpack and her thumb out. I asked Silver, “who’s that?”
He answered, “My future wife…”