EMPTY TANK

Anyone who knows me will attest to the fact that I am not a very practical person. If you ask me to write an essay, I will start in a heartbeat but, there is something that seems insurmountable about changing a light bulb. Recently, I had the ultimate stressful experience which put all my shortcomings with useful tasks on display.

After teaching for the full day, I was incredibly keen to get home. As I drove into the fuel station, I was ready to fill up my car and drive the hour back. Cars are an absolute miracle to me as although they move forwards, no matter how many times people try to explain how they work and what I should do it maintain it, it goes in one ear and then out the other. So when my fuel cap would not open despite how many times I pressed the level, I was at a complete loss.

I got out of my car and forced it down again and again and, still, my fuel cap would not open. One stranger attempted to help me, but we were just as clueless as each other. I moved my car off to the side and picked up my phone. No luck! It was overheated; I began to freak out more and more- there was no way that I had enough fuel to get home. When my phone cooled down, I rang my father, the poor person who has had to field so many of these types of phone calls and does so very patiently. As he began to talk to me about what I needed to do- break into the cap by using leverage from a key I started to become more and more frustrated as it did not work! Tears began to stream down my face as I continued to talk to my father. He told me to break into the back of my fuel cap to open it from the boot. I followed instructions; and began to rip up my boot, still awkwardly sobbing, what a sight that must have been! No matter how hard I tried, I could not follow the instructions, I could not get my fuel cap to open. I was not going to be able to get home. I was stuck.

It is funny that at times, ordeals end much faster than we anticipate. Sobbing into my phone, I must have looked a traumatised mess. A stranger approached me and promptly took off his watch and dived his hand into my boot; within a minute he had my fuel cap open. I did not even know how to express my gratitude. I thanked him and hung up the call to my dad. Filling up my car, and going into pay, I did not realise how much of a mess I looked. Looking at myself in the bathroom mirror all I could see was the grease and the snot all over my face; I was not a pretty sight. Who knows how much longer I would have been there if it had not had been for that stranger?

One act of kindness can change a day completely.

God calls us to be that man who takes off his watch; he calls us to be that person who changes somebody’s day. Christianity is not a religion of comfort and, it does not stop at us just preaching the gospel, it is about becoming the gospel. In Matthew 25:31-40, God’s judgement is described, and there is an explanation of two groups of people, the sheep and the goats. The sheep are those who listen to the word of God and follow it out in their lives, the help the hungry; they help the thirsty, they help the tired and the sick without looking for a reward. The goats are those who wander when they could have helped those people- they did not see when others needed help. When we see the world through the perspective of Christ, everything changes.

We belong to a saviour who got his hands dirty in the mud forming his creations. We belong to a saviour did not hold back from us. We belong to the saviour who got his hands scarred while he was nailed to the cross of Calvary for our sins. We must follow his example and get our hands dirty for others. What can you do this week to make someone else’s life a little better? It does not have to be much- it can be as small as a smile. If you see a need, fill it.

By: Kira-leigh Josey

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