Jesus had to go through Samaria. – John 4:4
There were two routes Jesus could have taken on his journey from Judea to Galilee. The quickest way was to head straight north and travel through Samaria. However, many pious Jews would have chosen the long way around to avoid coming in contact with the Samaritans, who they had despised for centuries.
When walking your dog, do you avoid the street corner where you know the homeless woman always sits? Do you delay your departure for economics class by a few minutes to avoid the unfriendly neighbor who happens to be outside brushing snow of his car parked right next to yours? When you walk down the halls at work and see Chatty Kathy coming your way, do you duck into an empty room to avoid her?
It didn’t take me long to come up with these examples because I have been guilty of ALL of them. Every. Single. One. Perhaps it’s time I take a cue from Jesus, who went directly through Samaria and faced the very people group that most Jews went out of their way to avoid. Perhaps a smile, a wave, or a friendly greeting could make a person’s day.
Prayer: Please give me the courage to face the people I often try to avoid. Give me eyes to see them as you do.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. – Robert Frost
(Thank you, Robert Frost, for posthumously allowing me to swipe the words from your poem, “The Road Not Taken”.)