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Happen to be

Have you ever felt like Simon?

Simon? Who is Simon? Is he the guy that the childhood game of “Simon Says” is named after? I don’t think so, but maybe.

There is a line in Luke 23:26, about a man named Simon, that recently caught my attention. It is the little phrase, “happened to be.”

Depending on your perspective, Simon happened to either be in the wrong place at the wrong time or he was at the right place at the right time. Some might even say he was at the right place at the wrong time or at the wrong place at the right time. Regardless, we have all had days like these, days when we happen to be.

Simon was just out minding his own business and the next thing he knows he is seized by a group of soldiers and forced to carry a heavy burden for a stranger accused of a crime.

Not exactly the kind of day you wake up looking forward to. You could say he rolled out on the wrong side of the bed and didn’t even know it!

What was Simon’s reaction to having his day interrupted and his rights thrown to the wind? I wonder what Simon said about that day. Did you catch it? What did Simon say? As in, Simon says!

We really don’t know what Simon said but something tells me Simon had a lot to say about that day. Things like; “Hey, what’s going on here?” “What did I do to deserve this?” “You’ve got the wrong guy.” “This isn’t fair.” “Somebody call the police!” “Who do you guys think you are?” “Am I going to jail?” “You are violating my rights.” “I want my first phone call!” “Mommy!”

We have all had days like these. Somebody totally highjacks our day. It could be as serious as running a traffic light and causing a terrible accident or as minor as interrupting our Sunday afternoon nap with a blaring boom box. Either way, somebody, somewhere, some how, has violated our space and we are left with a burden that’s not our own.

But then again Simon may have had other things to say that day. Things like; “Is that Jesus?” “He healed my cousin’s wife.” “I heard of this guy. A lot of people say he is the Messiah.” “Jesus, needs my help? No problem. I’m in.” “Me? I get to lighten the load of God’s son? How else can I help?” “Thank you Jesus! Stay strong! I just happened to be here but I am so glad I was.”

We can all relate to days like these. Days when the unfortunate circumstances of another provides us an opportunity to step in, bare the brunt and lighten the load.

What did Simon say on days like these? We really don’t know. But the better question might be, what do you say on days like these when you just happen to be in a place to play an important role in the life of someone you may not have otherwise known. Someone, who might just be destined to change the world as you happen to be crossing paths on the windy, desolate and lonely highway called life.

(Inspired by Luke 23:26)



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