This morning as I strolled down Sunshine Boulevard on my way to work, a young man was walking down the other side of the road in the same direction I was traveling.  As I got closer, I noticed the universal sign for needing a lift: the old thumb sticking out into the street, sign.  Maybe he was a high-schooler who missed his bus and his parents both work and had already left.  

I did not stop.  You always hear that you should not pick up hitchhikers these days.  They could be dangerous.  But I ran through a few scenarios in my head the rest of the way to work.

-What if he pulled a knife out and told me to give him his wallet?  This scenario gave me little trouble solving.  After all, I am the one driving, what is he going to do, cut me?  I'll make sure to wrap my car around a telephone pole, or drive off into a canal, leaving the passenger side in the water.  Of course, I'd only tell him I would do these things, not necessarily do them.  While I'm driving, I am in control of what is going on in the car.  He would want money, he's not looking to die today.

-What if he pulled a gun on me?  This is almost the same idea.  He wants money or the car, but I'm driving.  If I'm not driving, I would start.  What is he going to do, shoot me at 45 - 50 miles per hour?  He probably wouldn't make it.  I just need to be sure he understands that.  Also, I failed to mention that I have a couple of knife options in my car... both pocket knifes, but not both in my pocket.  Maybe when reaching for my wallet, I pick the wrong pocket.

-What if he did these things before he got in?  Simple, keep the car in gear.  Sense danger?  Flee.  My car is faster than his knife, and the odds of an untrained person hitting me inside my moving vehicle?  Not good.  Besides those to points, my driver window doesn't work, so he would either be at my passenger window or open the passenger door... which would be better because as I drove off all quick and stuff it would make him jump out of his skin.

-So, what could go wrong?  A lot.  I thought about being in his shoes to determine what could go wrong, and there are a few things.  First of all, if I was going to do this, I'd probably make a cut to prove I was serious.  Second, the emergency brake of the car is in the center, I can easily stop the car if anything happened to the driver.  Thirdly, the driver has to stop eventually.  Finally, if I had the gun, the driver would probably not be able to think clearly, so I'd actually be in control.  So had the hitchhiker thought of these things while I was driving, everything could have happened completely differently.

What will I do next time?  I'm not sure.  This guy looked like he just missed the bus.  If I was doing this morning over again, I think I would stop, ask where he needed to be, let him know I'm on my way to work and can only drop him off somewhere that is on my way, and then... if he meets all the requirements, I'd give him a lift.  I may have unknowing completely ignored an Angel!  (Hebrews 13:1-2)

What would you do?  Comment below, like everybody else.