When I was in elementary school (called grade school then), somebody handed out rulers every year. At least, my memory says it was every year. Those rulers, a vital piece of educational equipment then, had the Golden Rule printed on them – “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” Teachers always spent a bit of time explaining what that meant.
Later in my life, I saw people living by that rule in its corrupted form – “Do unto others before they do unto you.” Sometimes, in fun, I even quoted it in that form myself. But if you stop and think about it, you can see evidence of living by the corrupted form of the rule every day, in life all around you, in television programs, and in politics at nearly every level.
Just last week, I was on the receiving end of the real Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.”
It was hot! Turned out to be the hottest day of the week. Not a good time to be mowing a lawn. Nonetheless, it was dry, and the next day threatened wide-spread rain. The lawn needed mowing. On a riding mower, it’s not really that much exertion.
The lawn in question was that of the decommissioned church building right out in the public eye on State Route 108.
I got the front of the parsonage lawn done and moved on to the front lawn of the church building. There, I soon got myself into trouble.
I headed the mower into a corner and it refused to back out! It’s a good mower but it just doesn’t have good power in reverse. (To those of you who already think you know what the problem was, yes, I did have the PTO turned off.) The machine simply wouldn’t put forth enough energy to reverse.
I couldn’t push it out myself because of that safety feature, which requires the operator to be in the seat for it to run. So, I called my roommate for help. She gladly came over and gave me the needed boost.
As I returned to mowing, she still sat in the lot. I wondered why, but I soon discovered I was glad she had waited, as I got the mower hung up again! This time, the deck was hung on concrete curbing.
She tried to push it in either direction. It wouldn’t budge. I turned off the engine and together we tried to lift it – one end and then the other. It wouldn’t budge. We backed off to study the problem.
Soon, a pick-up truck pulled in. The young man driving got out and made short work of lifting the machine off the curb. I was back in business and would be more careful.
Our rescuer, a total stranger to us, said he saw the problem when he drove past and “it’s just too hot for you two to be trying to lift it, so I came back to help.”
I asked if he would accept a hug in payment and he gladly presented himself. I delivered the hug and added a heartfelt “God bless you” to my thank-you.
Doing unto others as we would have them do unto us – not just the Golden Rule but borne up by scriptural teaching. It’s the Christian thing to do.