Scout taught us a thing or two at church

He was asked to give a special message at the Crosby Methodist Church for Scout Sunday about three weeks ago. This 20-year-old college student did just that by bringing a message to the congregation entitled, “Being Jesus to Others.”

Zachary Harrison had been a Scout for several years through his teenage years and obviously his studies and Scout activities have had a positive influence. The Methodist Church, on a national basis, is the largest sponsor of Scout troops across the nation and I applaud that organization for this effort. In Harrison the local church saw its investment in youth had paid off.

“What makes you happy?” Harrison asked his audience. “Is it sports? Is it shopping? Is it food,” he asked. He had the audience listening intently as he began with these questions.

Joys and pleasures come differently to people and they respond in different ways, this young adult told his listeners. Then he spoke of several people of the Bible – Peter, Thomas, Nathaniel, the sons of Zabedee, James and John.

“We remember those words that Jesus spoke to the men fishing, ‘Come I will make you fishers of people.’ He recalled the story of a man walking up to these fishermen and, after they had fished for hours and got nothing, saying, ‘Try the right side of the boat.’

“Now, I don’t know about you but if I had been fishing all day and some guy told me to just try the right side of the boat, I would think he was a little nuts. It was not until they started catching fish that they realized the person was Jesus.”

Then he spoke of Mary Magdalene at the tomb saying, “If you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him and I will go and get him. On both occasions when Jesus appears after his death there was no bright light, no trumpets, and no wings – there was just a man.”

Harrison then spoke of some of his experiences such as working at Cub Scout Camp at the behest of his mother, and working with a youngster who was having extreme difficultly in riding a bicycle. He spoke of the joys he felt when the Cubs responded to his assistance and the youngster took off, unsteady at first, and successfully rode his bike. He said his most rewarding experience was when “I got a letter in the mail” from the bike rider saying, “He had gotten a new bike and was up and riding all over the place.”

Referring to an earlier scripture he said “I believe he [Jesus] found joy in helping others. He found pleasure in being able to make other people’s lives a little better. So why can’t we do that today?”

Then he told of his own experience at the intersection of I-610 and I-8. “Going down the exit ramp, a young lady with a flat tire was on the side of the road with an old Dodge pickup” behind it. A man was working on replacing a tire. Harrison said he considered stopping to help as well and then didn’t. He was bothered by his decision and ended up going around thatexit ramp three times before finally pulling over to lend a hand. The woman and her helper were both pleased he had stopped.

“We were together for 15 minutes or so just talking up a storm as we worked, trying to figure out how to lower the tire from under this foreign SUV.” He said he did little except assist in moving the tire and finishing up. At the conclusion there were “thank you”s all around; more than he thought he deserved. “Why was I the only one to stop?” he asked himself as he watched 100 or more cars whiz by as they worked. “The point of this story is that I might not have thought I was doing anything but to the people on the side of the road, it meant something.”

He continued with, “Did Jesus ever say no? If everyone tried to be much more like Jesus the world would be a better place. So who is your role model today?” At the end of his message he quoted Wilfred Grenfell with, “The service we render for others is the rent we pay for our room when we leave this earth.”

Such are the people, places and things that have touched my life from my West Virginia home!