An otherwise indistinguishable cab prowls the streets of a large U.S. city. But this cab is actually a full-fledged game show on wheels in disguise, followed by a production crew in a second vehicle.
Once a would-be contestant(s) hails this particular cab, and is/are ensconced inside, they are made aware that they are riding in the cash cab. They are then given the chance to answer trivia questions and win cash while in route to their originally stated destination.
A series of questions and answers ensues, with chances to call for help, ask a stranger for assistance, etc… Most contestants win at least a few hundred dollars for their participation; and almost all seem to have very good time to boot.
What I noted about the program is that virtually all of the people who enter the cab are initially reticent to engage in much conversation with the driver. Instead, they are rather matter of fact and business-like as they state their intended destination. This is no doubt due to the fact that they have an agenda, and itinerary, and/or some schedule that drives them at the moment.
Perhaps they are motivated by the fact that they are on the way to dinner, or to a show, or running late for work, or any of a hundred other pressing concerns. And then, lo and behold, out of nowhere comes this interruption to their timetable. Of course, in the one or two episodes I watched, not one of the individuals given the chance to take a moment from their busy schedule and earn a little cash objected in any way whatsoever!
As I reflected on this, I could not help but think of the business of our lives. Most all of us face hectic schedules, ticking clocks, and pressing deadlines! Such is life in the modern world. These thing tend to make us task-oriented as we seek to navigate the pressures under which we live. And this also makes us have less and less time for what matters most - which is quality interaction with other people for greater purposes.
The irony of the show is that anyone who refuses to take a moment to interact with the game show host and engage in give and take with him has absolutely zero chance of being rewarded!
Of course, few, if any, choose to do this. To take such an approach – that is to say “No, I do not want to slow down and engage in this conversation at this time!” – is to lose any opportunity whatsoever of financial gain!
And herein lies a spiritual principle. God, I am convinced, delights in interrupting our busy schedules! We rush to and fro in our excessively busy lives, all too consumed with our agendas to slow down and interact and engage with others. And when we do, we miss out on untold numbers of blessing. Not financial blessings, but spiritual ones!
The proof of this is in the story that Jesus Christ once told as recorded in verses 25-37 of the 10th chapter of the New Testament Gospel of Luke. In this, the famed “Parable of the Good Samaritan”, a man falls among thieves and is beaten and left for dead. In rapid succession, two rather high-ranking religious officials choose to pass right by the forlorn man. They are obviously entirely too busy to be bothered with him and his problems.
But a third man, a despised foreigner, chooses to stop and assist the wounded man, treating his wounds and getting him to a place of help, as well as offering to bear any expenses the man might incur in his recovery.
Jesus makes plain that the true reward, the blessing from God, belonged not to those who passed by the injured man, but to the one who actually stopped and expended the time, energy, and resource to help his fellow man!
As I write this, we are on the cusp of a new week. For many of us, this new week will be a busy one! The last thing we might think we need is a series of unwelcome introductions. After all, such things slow us down and seemingly rob us of our productivity. And yet, such things also contain innumerable blessings! For such is exactly the way God works!
So, why not commit at the outset of this busy week to allow yourself the luxury of being interrupted at some point or points? Why not commit that you will be willing to slow down and engage with anyone whom God brings across your path this particular week that might be in need of time and attention?
Doing so might just provide unexpected blessings – not only for them in their need, but also for you as you seek to honor God and glorify Him by the way you treat others in His name!
GAME SHOW SOURCES: