A fact of commuting life is sooner or later the fuel tank will have to be filled. You have to purposely choose a place to stop, connect and fill up. My pumps of choice are at the world’s largest retailer because it is the least expensive. Now, I don’t go at just any time of day. I have tried that strategy and it has too many complications. Nope, I fill up between 6:30 and 10:30 a.m., maybe as late as 11 when I am desperate, but never after that, and certainly never after that on a Friday or Saturday.
In short, it is a madhouse. People pull in randomly. They queue up for pumps in ways that defy logic. I can not bear to go in, and risk my life simply to fill up my tank. If I go earlier in the day, there are fewer people, and typically those present are able to fill up in a efficient manner. It fits within the craziness of my overall life nicely. And here is the truly fun part. Apparently early in the morning, is when the evangelism team of some local congregation has targeted my gas station. Four fill ups in a row, that’s two months straight, I was “hit on” by someone concerned about the condition of my soul for eternity.
At first it was a joke. My life is like that, stuff happens which is beyond belief and I assume that I am being videoed or punk’d even. I was handed a tract, and asked the ultimate question, “if you died tonight…” It was early, and I handed him back the tract. “Keep this for someone that really needs your message, I am on the pastoral staff of the church down the road.” The second contact, a woman, was hesitant to trust my response, I could see the doubt in her eyes, “No, really I work at Asbury.” The third person, another woman, indicated that I could keep the tract and hand it to someone who needed it myself.
When I was approached by a fifth person, about a month later and a little later in the morning, I was about to just say, “Really?!” but the younger man asked if I could spare some money for gas. They were headed to Mississippi and needed some help. I didn’t have any cash, but said “there is a church up the road that will be able to help. You can follow me there, it’s not far.”
These are each examples of the evangelistic love of God, and one was a thin place for me.