Pulling into the tiny downtown gas station on a narrow 100 foot lot where gasoline sells for a cash price of $2.99 a gallon, one must navigate their car carefully to squeeze into the tight space. My car rolls to a stop face to face with a fellow New Jersey driver that anxiously awaits to pull up in the spot that I just pulled into. Not aware of her intentions, I nonchalantly shift my car into park as my window quietly descends. Instantly, I hear a voice screeching, “I don’t think so!!! I don’t think so!!!! The voice got louder with each “I don’t think so.”-
Stepping out of my car wanting to learn what the commotion is about, I quickly see my car is in her way. Without hesitation, I humbly apologize to this woman reassuring her how sorry I am and pleasantly informed her I will move my car right away. She angrily responds with, “You better, I’ve been waiting here for 10 minutes” as more dissension came from her voice. Hearing the shrilling sound of her verbal frustration still carrying on, I stop dead in my tracks, turn-around and graciously reapproach her car with a loving Timmy-smile and kindly share with her in a most gentle voice, “I am happy to move my car. First, I would like you to calm down because I don’t even know you and I love you.”
Detecting in my voice and demeanor, full sincerity and not a hint of Jersey sarcasm, her jaw drops as do her shoulders with a sigh of relief for it would be more common in this part of the East Coast to be confrontational and bicker over who gets served fuel next.
Breathing out a sigh of relief and dumbfounded, she hesitantly responds with, “I love you too.” I gave her another smile as I willfully walked away and flashed a smile at her husband who quietly sat in the passenger seat during this whole love-hate exchange.
It was a win/win. She delightfully pulled her SUV forward for fuel and I am equally delighted and happy with myself for I see the fruit of the Holy Spirit manifesting within me. One of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is “love.”
There was a time, I would have reacted differently and opened up the conversation by bypassing the woman driving asking the husband directly in a provoking tone, “Hey, why you in the passenger seat big-boy while your wife yells at me? I prefer YOU yell at me,” knowing this would provoke a conflict getting both of our adrenaline going causing heated excitement on what could have been an uneventful day.
I much prefer the new me, created anew in the love of Jesus Christ. Some of the fruit of the Holy Spirit are love, peace, joy, patience, self-control and peace. I am so excited these priceless qualities come out of me, “Just a guy on a Journey” and did so today while refueling. Those that know me from my former life before I became intimate with God would be shocked at my behavior today. I am actually quite surprised myself but abundant love flows naturally through the Holy Spirit and I would not change it for all the high pay-out productive diamond-mines in South Africa. Let it flow. By the way, I love you too!