Byron's Babbles

The Good Samaritan Marathon

Posted in Inspirational, Leadership, Spiritual by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on March 21, 2015

This past Thursday I had the opportunity to go with good friend, Kevin Eikenberry, to the NCAA tournament game where Purdue played Cincinnatti. The game was held in the KFC Yum Center in Louisville, Kentucky. I was excited to be going because it was my first NCAA Tournament game. Kevin had been to many of these and got tired of me saying, “We are in the house!” Sorry Kevin! 

Obviously the outcome of the game was not what we wanted, but that really turned out to be a lesser story of the trip. Something astonishing happened and we were both reminded how important it is to help your fellow-man. Long-story-short, we hit something in the road and it literally punctured the tire and went through the rim on my friend’s BMW. We tried to change the tire along the interstate, but had some difficulty. That’s a whole other story that the two farm boys in the BMW are still figuring out how to tell! Anyway, we called AAA, and then (since the tire and rim were both already ruined) drove to the next exit – Exit 41 on I 65, the Uniontown/Crothersville, Indiana exit.

We then limped into the exit, pulled into the Marathon station, and began working on the car again. Remember, you have two farm boys here wanting to fix the tire. We then got a message back from AAA that it would be an hour before help arrived. This would have got us to the game late. Little did we know there were Good Samaritans at Exit 41.

An interesting thing happened at the gas station, Uniontown Marathon- RMD 64 (pictured here in the post) on the way to the tournament. Every single person that pulled into that gas station/mini mart while we were there attempted to help us. No lie – every single one. We were amazed! One lady knew BMWs and was explaining the wheel locks and another was googling BMWs for us. Then we had a car full of fellow Purdue Boilermaker fans wanting to make room in the car for us and get us to the game. I looked at Kevin and said, “I’ll see you at the game!” Really, I did say that, but I did not leave him. 

Then, along came a man that knew exactly what to do. Bottom line: he made it possible for us to change the tire and get on the road. We are both so appreciative of everyone who asked to help us. We are both also still astonished that every single person who pulled into that station asked to help. How many times have you pulled in somewhere and seen someone with a broken down car or some other need and thought you were too busy to help? I am ashamed to say I have. But, from the modeling and coaching of our friends at the Uniontown/Crothersville exit, I hope to be a better neighbor!

In reflecting on and deciding how to tell this story (there is quite a bit more and gets quite funny), I thought of the ultimate story/parable teller: Jesus. I believe it would be a good reminder for us to review the story of the Good Samaritan found in the book of Luke. Luke 10: 25-37.

“Jesus told many stories, or parables, to help people learn the truth. One day a leader of the Jews asked Jesus what he must do to have eternal life. The Savior asked him what the scriptures said. The leader said that a man should love God and also love his neighbor. Jesus said that he was right. Then the leader asked, “Who is my neighbour?”

Jesus answered by telling the man a story. One day a Jewish man was walking on the road to the city of Jericho. Thieves robbed and beat him. They left the man on the road, almost dead. Soon a Jewish priest came by and saw the man. The priest walked by on the other side of the road. He did not help the man. Another Jewish man who worked in the temple came by. He saw the injured man. But he did not help the man either and walked by on the other side of the road. 

Then a Samaritan man came along. The Jews and the Samaritans did not get along. But when the Samaritan saw the man, he felt sorry for him. He took care of the man’s wounds and put clothes on him. The Samaritan took the man to an inn and cared for him until the next day. When the Samaritan had to leave, he gave money to the innkeeper and told him to take care of the man. 

After Jesus told this story, He asked the Jewish leader which of the three men was a neighbor to the injured man. The leader said that the Samaritan was because he had helped the man. Jesus told the Jewish leader to be like the Samaritan.”

So what do we learn from this story? We must be willing to get involved. Good intentions don’t cut it! None of the people at the Uniontown Marathon – RMD 64 were just saying they wanted to help; they all truly got involved in some way. They were “walking the talk.” We may quote scripture and recite platitudes on love and God, but unless we are willing to get involved in the lives of others, we are only blowing smoke. The Samaritan treated and bandaged the wounds. He set the injured man on his donkey. He took him to an inn and cared for him throughout the night. The Samaritan could have said to himself, “I give regularly to my church.  I donate to the Salvation Army every Christmas. I have done my part.” But he didn’t. As the scriptures say, he had compassion…and he acted on it.

So here are three things we need to do: 

    1.    Don’t refuse to help when you are able.

    2.    Never assume someone else will do it. Take personal responsibility.

    3.    You may suffer for doing well, but helping someone in need is truly         worth it.

Next time you have an opportunity to serve someone in need (a motorist in distress on the highway, a person under a cloud of depression, a friend in a financial bind, a single parent being overwhelmed by a rebellious child, a stressed-out coworker…) what will your reaction be? Will you be the religious law-speaking type or the proactive law-living type?

Thanks again to the folks in Uniontown and Crothersville last Thursday evening for giving us a modern day parable to live by.

One Response

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  1. mathblatz said, on August 5, 2016 at 7:55 am

    #The real deal. Thanks for the great reminder!


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