Robert Frost wrote that “good fences make good neighbors.” It’s true. But so does “being neighborly.”
Last summer, my family and I took a trip in the used camper we’d bought the year before. Unfortunately, I was still unfamiliar with many of the camper’s hook-ups and settings, which led to a mini comedy of errors as soon as we arrived at the grounds. Right away, I popped open the side panel and wrestled to get the sewer hose connected. The problem was, I forgot the panel was open above me, and I bonked my head. When I stepped backward, I scraped my back along the bottom latch. And that’s when I stood up and hit my head again. When I looked up, I noticed several veteran campers were intently taking in the entire scene.
Given the spectacle I’d created, you’d think some of the more experienced campers nearby would have offered a helping hand. Instead, I was surprised by the distance they kept from me. They seemed almost offended by my inexperience. Over the course of the week, I did get to know some of the folks around us … after I took the initiative to say hello.
It reinforced in my mind the importance of “being neighborly” with the people God has placed in our path. Whether it’s a family moving into your neighborhood, a new co-worker learning the ropes, or just a bumbling camper next to you, we should take the first step, extend to them the love of Christ, and help them feel welcome.
For a daily dose of encouragement and perspective, check out Jim Daly’s blog, Daly Focus, at JimDalyBlog.com.