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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN



A professor once had a small class of fifteen students who were planning on going into the ministry. At the beginning of one of his classes, he distributed envelopes to the students with sealed instructions.

Five students received instructions to proceed across campus without delay. The directions read, "You have fifteen minutes to reach your destination. You have no time to spare.  Don't loiter or do anything else, or your grade will be docked."

The next five students also received instructions to make their way across the campus, but they were given 45 minutes to do so. "You have plenty of time," their directions read, "but don't be too slow."

The last five students received instructions to get to the other side of campus anytime before five o'clock, giving them about five hours to complete the assignment.

What the students did not know was that the professor had arranged for several drama majors from a nearby university to position themselves along the path that led across campus. The drama students were instructed to act as though they were suffering and in great need.

One pretended to be homeless, in need of food and clothing.  Another sat with his head in his hands, crying as though he had just experienced a terrible tragedy. Still another acted as if he were in desperate need of medical care.

You can only imagine what happened as the ministry students tried to complete their assignments.  None of the students in the first group stopped to offer any help to the "needy people."  Only two students in the second group did.   But all five student  in the third group  took time  to stop and help.

In today's hectic and fast-paced world it is no wonder that many people find themselves too busy to do what God ask. We need to stop and ask ourselves if our lives are directed by the Book or the clock.  As Jesus told the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10 He explained how the priest and the Levite were too busy to help the man in need. But the Samaritan stopped and attended to the man's need. And in verse 37 Jesus says, "Go and do likewise."

For His Cause,
Tim Woodward