Wrong Place at the Wrong Time

There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answered and said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” – Luke 13:1-5 NKJV. 

Yesterday, in Oklahoma City there was a fire on a Putnam City School Bus with four children on board. Thankfully, the bus driver, Bob Olmstead, noticed the smoke coming from the battery compartment underneath his seat and was able to evacuate all of the students before the fire erupted. It could have been a very tragic situation, but Olmstead who had been driving school buses for 29 years knew what to do and all of the students were kept safe. 

It reminded me of my short career of driving a school bus for Taft Junior High School in Oklahoma City when I was 21 years old. I had driven a school bus for our little rural school my senior year in high school and still had a commercial chauffer’s license. Going to college and needing income from a part-time job I took the job and kept driving for a total of three months. 

In 1971, I was driving a 66-passenger school bus taking kids home and one day I counted 110 kids that got onto the bus. I’m sure that wouldn’t be allowed now! But it was a different time, and I had no choice but to drive off with the aisle filled with kids and kids standing all around me. At that time with a bus that long it was difficult to make some turns and one of those turns was at Pennsylvania Avenue and turning onto 10th street. That was when some boys in the back set some seats on fire, although it was mostly smoke, and I had to evacuate all of those kids off of the bus. The stuffing in the seats were of a fire retardant material which kept the bus from being engulfed in fire, but it did fill the bus with smoke. 

As I said, it was a different time, so I kicked about six boys off the bus that I thought were involved (They only had a few blocks to walk.) I then reloaded the bus and continued the route taking kids home. I guess that some of the kids could have had some problems from the smoke inhalation, but they were tough, and were all back at school the next day. 

When those boys started the fire, it was at exactly the worst place for them to do that, at the worst time, with heavy traffic and an overloaded bus. But isn’t that the way it usually happens? Instead of things happening at the right place and the right time, too many times it is at the wrong place and the wrong time. Often, at the very worst possible time! 

Jesus talked about a couple of those wrong place at the wrong time tragic occurrences in the Gospel of Luke. It does not sound like any of the Galileans that Pilate murdered had committed any crimes. No, they were just in the wrong place at the wrong time to be caught up in Pilate’s murderous rage. At least that’s what it sounds like. Then, Jesus gives another example of a tower suddenly falling down on 18 people striking them dead. Again, they were in the wrong place at the worst possible time. Well, Jesus seems to be saying that bad things just happen in this old world ever since all of creation was corrupted when Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden. 

We know bad things do happen, but what do we do about protecting ourselves from it? Jesus indicates that the primary thing that we ought to do is to make sure that we are in a right relationship with God. He says, “…unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” If you don’t know Jesus as your personal Savior, I plead with you to fall to your knees right now, confess your sins to the Lord Jesus Christ and ask Him to come into your life and save your soul!! 

What else can we do to keep from being at the wrong place at the wrong time? Every day we should pray and ask God to protect us and to protect our family and friends. Every day we should ask God to lead us and guide us through each step of the way, because only God really knows where those Tower of Siloam’s are located. 

(If you were one of those students that were in the school bus that day when there was the fire while I was driving, please contact me. I would like to know what God has done in your life, because I’ve been praying for you!)

(What to do to keep from being at the wrong place at the wrong time.)

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