Jan Smith – 03/10/2008
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men” (Colossians 3:23)
The essence of a genuine Christian spirit is this: how do we behave when nobody is watching? I thought about that as I left for work this morning. I had just started 3 days ago. I wanted to make a good impression, because I knew my boss was out of town.
The car was cold, so I left the engine running when I pulled into a gas station to buy a banana to eat with my lunch. When I returned, I discovered that I had unknowingly pressed the “lock” button on the door as I got out. The doors were all locked. I grabbed my cell phone and dialed home. Joanne had been up late the night before, so my call awakened her. She lovingly agreed to come to my rescue.
Waiting for someone to arrive while clinging to the hope that you might still be on time is like waiting for water to boil. But finally, there she was. She pulled her keys from the ignition switch of her car and handed them to me. I fumbled with them as I started toward my mini van, then stopped. There was… no… van key on the key ring!
Neither of us had an explanation for that, and at that point the reason didn’t matter. The only recourse was to go home, get another set of keys, and return.
It’s not very likely that anyone would steal your running car when all the doors are locked. A thief would have to smash a window. Realizing that, I went back into the gas station to warm up. I shared my tale of woe with the man behind the counter, who found it quite amusing.
All hope of being on time was long gone by the time Joanne returned and unlocked my van. I was back on the road.
Oh, did I forget to mention the irony of the story: the gas station store didn’t have any bananas.
But I really like bananas, so I stopped at another store where I was indeed able to buy a banana. Altogether, I was about half an hour late. My coworker thought the story was funny. So did our boss, when he called in from somewhere down south.
The final irony was: my coworker suggested we go out for lunch. I didn’t even eat my banana! <sigh>
At least I never lost my joy.