Wednesday, September 05, 2012

To Stop Or Not To Stop

Yesterday I chuckled while watching a YouTube program that's format is much like talk radio.  In this episode one of the two personalities was sharing an experience we can all relate to.  He was in thick traffic and finally worked his way to the front of the line where the source of the problem became apparent.  An old man had broken down in the middle lane.

What's funny about that you ask?  Well, nothing.  The relatable chuckling came from this man's description of his internal dilemma of whether to pass the old man up (after all, he was already late to work) or stop and render aid.  The internal dialog of his mind weighing the pros and cons was quite hilarious.  Feel free to check out his recap by clicking here.

But it got me thinking and revisiting this topic because I have covered it myself in this post from last year.  Imagery of the Good Samaritan parable as told by Jesus enters the mind when passing or stopping to help a stranded commuter.  But are most break downs actually comparable?  In the parable the man had been beaten within inches of his life, stripped of possessions and clothing, and left for dead.  Can we really equate that with helping someone change a tire on the side of the road?  And what about safety?  I prefer that my wife not stop to help out a stranded man for instance.  And then there is technology.  Most times when I do stop, the person in trouble already has cell phone to ear and tells me there is someone on their way to pick them up and a tow truck coming for the car.

I think the only accurate modern day Good Samaritan scenario is the injury-accident scene.  If you are a witness to a wreck or happen upon one before emergency responders have arrived, it is certainly your moral obligation to stop and render aid.  In fact, not doing so is against this law

So what are your general rules when considering a stop?  Do you take into account the gender of the person in need?  Do you look to see if they have kids, a cell phone, or others already helping them?  Or do you stop for everyone?  Do you want people stopping to help you? How does the Biblical parable apply for you in modern circumstances?