Exactly what do your actions on the outside convey about who you are on the inside? This past week we had terrible storms on the very afternoon that I had to return a rental car and get my car back from the dealership. Let’s just say the afternoon did not go very smoothly. I found myself driving through torrential rains and winds praying the puddles would not bring me to a grinding halt. I pulled into the rental car place only to realize I had failed to fill the tank up with gas. I pulled back out onto the highway in the horrible rains.
When I arrived at the only gas station I could see the power had gone out and knocked the card readers off line. Cash only. I was trying to explain I needed to fill the tank up and I had no idea how much that would cost to the limited English speaking employee behind the counter. My patience started wearing thin. I paid him $20, put $4 in the tank and had to fight my way back into the store to get $16 back.
I make my way across surging streams of water on the highway and pull back in to the rental car place. I walk in only to discover that their power outage knocked them offline as well and their computers were not booting back up. I sat down and waited. They finally decided they could return me to the car dealership without completing the paperwork since the dealership was paying for the rental. (That is because when I brought my car in two days earlier for the appointment they did not have any loaner cars available like they had hoped and had to send me to the rental car company to begin with- frustrating!)
As I climbed into the car the driver started chit chatting about the crazy weather. I was sitting there thinking how grateful I was I didn’t have any other appointments that afternoon because what should have been 15 minutes was at 45 minutes and counting. But we chatted about his family and a few other things.
And then he asked where I worked. As I told him I was a United Methodist Pastor I was saying a prayer of thanks that I had not answered truthfully his question of “how are you doing today?” Come to find out he and his family grew up CME (Christian Methodist Episcopal) and he started asking me questions about our church worship services. By the time we arrived at the dealership I had extended an invitation and explained all of our worship opportunities. I have no idea if he will show up but I will certainly look for him.
It is a 24/7 witness. How we handle ourselves matters. Especially how we handle ourselves when things aren’t going our way. It is our opportunity to show that we are wired not as the world expects us to be, but as Jesus would want us to be. What message do you convey when folks hear what you say and see what you do?
By the way- on the way back to the office a wreck brought the traffic to a grinding halt on the highway. Thankfully no one was in the car with me and I could “witness” to myself…
Grace and Peace,