“A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.”
- Proverbs 11:25
The alternate route proved to be a narrow one lane dirt road along a rugged hillside on the outskirts of Tegucigalpa, Honduras. The quick decision to detour resulted from a tragic accident up ahead that shut down the main highway. As other drivers from both directions diverted to this tiny path, it too became gridlocked.
Time was scarce. It was the last day of our mission trip, and even under the best of circumstances we had precious few hours to complete the projects we had begun a week earlier. Yet, here we were in the middle of a primitive hillside barrio jammed with busses and trucks unable to pass by one another. Imagine an LBJ Freeway traffic jam, or a Times Square gridlock with horns blaring and tempers flaring!
Suddenly the driver of the oncoming truck stepped out of his cab and meticulously guided our yellow school bus between the deep bar ditch on the right and his own vehicle. Once passed, our own driver stepped out and did the same for the next oncoming vehicle. Driver after driver calmly and patiently stopped to help one another in what had appeared to be a hopeless situation, until we miraculously reached the open road leading to our destination. Although we arrived at our rural worksite an hour and a half late, our projects were completed with time to spare.
There was a sense of calm in observing our Honduran friends working together. It was a great lesson for our small group of fourteen results-driven, type-A North Americans. We saw a narrow road with room too scarce for two vehicles to pass. Our Honduran friends, on the other hand, saw a road with abundant space when shared generously.
This experience happened to me many years ago while serving on a mission team in Honduras, and it is not the first time I have shared this story. But what a great example of how generosity works, how it tends to even things out for everyone, benefiting the giver every bit as much as the receiver. For as the Proverb says, “A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” Amazing how that works!