The new Schwinn sat there outside our office window for three long months. Someone bought a nice bike, carefully chained it to a trashcan, and then walked away. Leaving it there—for good.
My co-workers and I saw the bike daily and, since it sat near one of the main entrances to our building, so did everyone else.
During the last few storms of winter, we would watch the snow pile up on its seat.
And, in rain—we wondered if it would start to rust. At times when I passed it, I thought could see a little mold beginning on its nicely cushioned seat.
Speculations about the bike bounced around our office at times, as we tried to guess what happened to the owner. Were they abducted? Did they just forget where they'd left the bike? Or maybe they just couldn't fit it in their car when they left the area.
Sometimes the Schwinn would take to leaning away from the trashcan, making it difficult for people to pass. And this is when it bugged me the most. What was such a nice bike doing sitting out in the weather getting in everyone's way?
As the days wore on, the bike became an eyesore for us. And we began to think of ways to be rid of it. One of us sent a few emails to an office we thought would be able to take it. And I spoke twice to the man who emptied the trashcan, but nothing seemed to help.
One day, I looked up from my standing desk and decided that I had reached my limit with the mysterious Schwinn.
Leaving my office, I took a picture of the bike and headed down to talk to someone in person who I hoped would be able to do something. Nothing else we did seemed to help and no one outside our office seemed to notice much or care.
Sometimes life is like that. There are things that need to be done even though they may be outside of our daily responsibilities.
Recently, I finished the book of Nehemiah, and the Bible version I'm currently reading (AMP) helped bring the story home to me.
I like Nehemiah because he saw a need and decided to be the one to meet it—even though he really didn't have to.
You see there was a problem in Jerusalem. Because of their disobedience, most of God's people had been captured and taken to foreign lands. But when some returned, they came home to a broken-down city that was vulnerable to attack.
When Nehemiah, a Jew born in captivity and living in Susa at the time, found out about all this he sat down and wept. Then he mourned, fasted, and prayed.
Easily, he could have wagged his finger and said, "Not my problem."
He was living in a different city after all—and he had an important job of being cupbearer to the king. What did he care if Jerusalem was in ruins?
But, he did care - a lot. So much so that he decided to do something about it. Nehemiah got permission and support from his king and led a team out to Jerusalem to rebuild.
And under Nehemiah's leadership the city was rebuilt and made strong again.
I think about Nehemiah when I see people who are willing to take on a task outside of their job description. Or, even someone who tries to make things better right where they are.
The other day, I was outside of my office building and happened to look down the sidewalk at the trashcan. The Schwinn was gone! My trip seemed to help, and now I wish I had done something sooner.
How can you be the change today?
Read What God's Word Says:
Matthew 5:16 (AMPC)
16 Let your light so shine before men that they may see your moral excellence and your praiseworthy, noble, and good deeds and recognize and honor and praise and glorify your Father Who is in heaven.
Philippians 4:13 (AMPC)
13 I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].
Ephesians 2:10 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)
10 For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].
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