Hitchin’ a Ride

by tylernielsen

Growing up, I remember being told to never to pick up hitchhikers. Especially if you’re alone. Well, today I broke both of those rules. 

On my way to Willmar this morning, I saw a man walking and carrying two extremely large bags. This man was very obviously not out on a simple stroll. And he was very obviously in need of assistance. I felt as if I should stop, but for some reason kept driving. I was too concerned about my own agenda and where I was supposed to be. Lo and behold, four hours later as I’m heading back to Marshall, I see this same man. This time, I pull over. He was still about 50 feet behind me, so I moved things around so he’d have room. 

Getting out of the car, I kept replaying warnings in my head. I kept walking. When I approached Scott (as I would later learn is his name), he had stopped to kneel down. I asked him where he was heading. Surprisingly, his destination was Marshall. When I asked if he’d like a ride, I could barely believe the words coming out of my mouth. 

There were 45 miles to go before Marshall. All I could think was, “What if he’s got a knife? What if he’s crazy? What if he escaped from somewhere? What if…” Trying to calm myself, I began asking him questions about where he was from, what he’s doing in Minnesota… Scott had many thoughts on life, politics, people, and most interestingly..God. I found myself perplexed by his blend of emotions and thoughts and experiences. He had many points that I agree with wholeheartedly. Much of what he said proved that he is at least partially crazy. One notion bothered me. Scott repeatedly said that since we are not God, we cannot understand Him. We have no place trying. 

James 4:8, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” 2 Chronicles 15:2, “The Lord is with you when you are with Him. When you seek Him you will find Him.” Jeremiah 29:13, “You will find me when you seek me with all your heart.” 

The Lord does not hide from His children. His thoughts are high and His ways are more holy that we could hope to attain, but He seeks out His creation. In the garden, He was looking to be with Adam and Eve. He is omnipresent – always there. 

As we drove, we talked about this idea. When we arrived at his destination, Scott thanked me and said a special thank you for the conversation, he appreciated it. My prayer is that he would find peace rather than turmoil in his mind. I pray that he does not feel cast off or disregarded. The Lord is indeed near and cares deeply about His sons and daughters. He is intimately involved in our day-to-day lives and while we cannot understand Him completely, He doesn’t stand far off in hiding. “Since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” (Romans 1:19-20)