A Man Named Paul
April 18, 2015
I went to my car today to go to work only to find that my wife's van had a light on. I drove it last and did not shut the door all the way. I knew that I would have to jump the battery. So I did. Well, needless to say that threw me behind.
As I got underway, I noticed my fuel gage near empty, another "time delay" to get to the gas station. I was on a quarter of a tank. I knew I could get to work, but had an "understanding" that I needed to surrender to the idea of getting gas now.
I arrived to the gas "station" and did my thing, pumped gas in my car. Anyone who knows me has heard my story of being "available" to the LORD's work wherever I am. Much has been done at the gas station. While I was pumping, a truck pulled up and a young man, probably between the ages of 25-30 stepped out of his truck and began to get gas. As I observed him, I received a burden to talk to him. Not knowing what I would say, I asked him if I could talk to him. He agreed.
As I approached him, I introduced myself and received knowledge of what to say. He introduced himself as Paul. Although there was no obvious sign, I understood him to be a native South Carolinian. He did not have the native tongue. To open dialog, I asked if he was a native to South Carolina. He said, "Yes". I continued by asking him what is perspective was on "Christianity". I knew his answer that is why I was there. Here is what he said.
"I do not follow the Christian faith. It was forced upon me at a young age. My father and mother did not live out what they acted out on Sunday. I left the house to be out on my own at the age of 15. I lived in a tent all through high school. I have read books about other religions and now studying about the "earth gods". That is my religion."
I thanked Paul for his candor. I did not take advantage of the opportunity to suggest that he was wrong or suggest that I was right. I told him that the "Bible Belt" is under a generational curse. The belt buckle is not fastened and the pants have fallen down exposing the "real man". The reality of not being what is professed, (Isaiah 47:3 "Your nakedness will be exposed and your shame uncovered. I will take vengeance; I will spare no one." Isaiah 57:12 "I will expose your righteousness and your works, and they will not benefit you").
What I did share with him is my understanding that what we are facing in the south and throughout the U.S. The institutionalized church (those who profess a faith in Christ) has not done a good job of portraying the truth about God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). I proceeded to share one of the reasons why. Many know of God, but do not have intimacy with Him, "knowing" Him and the reality of His existence. Paul nodded his head emphatically yes. I proceeded to say that I am an RN by trade and do not have it as my "profession" of speaking to people at gas stations about Jesus Christ. I share because I care about them and their eternal destiny. I believe the Bible as being the infallible word of God from beginning to end. I shared that I "know that I know" Jesus as the messiah who came to provide me an opportunity to have an intimate relationship. A relationship established through knowledge and practice. I shared that Jesus did not "force" anyone to believe, nor do I just give opportunity. He sated he "appreciated that".
Paul said, "It is interesting that you told me of your practice as an RN. I want to do that and have been working toward that career in school. I have a desire to help people even though there was no one there to help me". I shared that there was someone there, you just were not aware. I also shared that his compassion is fueled by something greater than himself. I urged him to seek. Paul was very receptive. We had a pleasant conversation and that was it.
By the way, later, I received a reminder on my phone from the application You Version. It was sending the verse for today, Deuteronomy 7:9, "Know therefore that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful god, who keeps His covenant and His loving kindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments".