Updated: Mar 8, 2018
Sometimes we find ourselves in situations and ask ourselves 'why me?'.
Imagine you are heading into town with your children. You might be going there to run some errands, attend a special event or perhaps you are simply passing through on your way to a different place.
You get stopped by the authorities and are ordered to get involved in something which you have never entertained as something that you would like to be a part of: you are commanded to carry the equipment used for murdering a criminal.
What do you do?
This is not what you had planned for the day when you left the house with your children!
Yet this was the experience of a man called Simon from Cyrene.
As Simon was travelling through the town with his two boys, he found himself in the middle of a commotion. He was commanded to carry a cross which would be used to crucify a man.
The man's name was Jesus. His crime? Calling himself the Son of God, the prophesied Messiah.
Looking at Simon we could say: "What a terrible case of 'being in the wrong place at the wrong time'", but when we look beyond the surface, we realise what an amazing privilege Simon was given to serve the Saviour at a moment of such great distress.
When his friends hid and the nation He healed turned against Him.
Beaten, bleeding, weak and broken hearted.
Yet, at this very moment, Simon was allowed to come close to Jesus and was used to bring an element of comfort to his physical pain. Even though Simon didn't go out seeking to serve Jesus, he found himself in the right place at the right time.
We don't know if Simon ended up reaching his destination that day. We don't know what impact this sudden change of plans had on his life. What we do know is that only by pausing his own plans was Simon able to serve his Creator.
Often we make plans which we set off to accomplish. We create a vision, a checklist, a destination, a purpose for ourselves. But sometimes we are called to change our plans and be a part of something significantly bigger than ourselves and our personal plans.
So when you are challenged to drastically alter your plans, think about Simon from Cyrene.
Perhaps it is a time when you are being called to pause your plans so you can serve your Creator?
Mark 15:16-21 (NKJV) "Then the soldiers led Him away into the hall called Praetorium, and they called together the whole garrison. And they clothed Him with purple; and they twisted a crown of thorns, put it on His head, and began to salute Him, “Hail, King of the Jews!”. Then they struck Him on the head with a reed and spat on Him; and bowing the knee, they worshiped Him. And when they had mocked Him, they took the purple off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him out to crucify Him. Then they compelled a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, the father of Alexander and Rufus, as he was coming out of the country and passing by, to bear His cross."
Simon has other plans for that day, but his story of encountering Jesus continues to be told over two thousand years later.