Today I was reminded of an incident that took place a couple of years ago. A man was standing in the parking lot of the church with a sign that read something along the line of, "Jesus is coming. Repent or spend eternity in hell." I was alerted to this and promptly drove to the church.
I drove up to the man and kindly, but abruptly told him to leave. He asked why. My answer was short, "Because I don't want you on our property holding this sign." He began asking me other questions, I calmed down, and 20 minutes later he was gone.
It dawned on me, about an hour later, that I could have and should have handled that situation better. I could have been calmer. I could have offered him breakfast since it was so early in the morning. Instead, I was short and rude.
I decided that I would learn from that scenario and today I had that opportunity.
A semi-truck was parked at the church parking lot overnight. I had also noticed that one of our poles out front had been run over and bent, probably hit by a semi (see above picture). Being the great detective that I am, it dawned on me that this particular semi had indeed run over the pole and made a mess of the lawn in the process.
Imagine my surprise when I went to the church today, on my day off no less, to grab a few things and the semi driver was on the hood of the semi trying to get in. He had locked his keys in the ignition. I realized that I had two options. I could help him out or chew him out for running through our front yard and making a mess.
I talked to him for a few moments and offered him coffee and cookies inside. I called a towing company and they came out 20 minutes later to unlock the semi-door. I wrote a church check out for $38 to pay the bill and sent the young man on his way. I didn't take down any of his information and the pole is still bent.
I'm sure you are asking yourself, "Why didn't you get his insurance info or call the cops to sort this out?" That thought went through my mind but as I had been talking with him I had picked up on something. This young man had been fired from many different jobs for many different reasons recently. I didn't think it was necessary to cause any more stress in his life. If I was in his position I would have wanted someone to do the same for me.
The $38 lock-out bill was not a large expense and we have been kicking around the idea of removing those poles anyway.
As I sit here writing this I am pleased with the progress God has made in my life. I didn't get mad. I didn't do anything that I now regret. It's been a good day. I'm still smiling. I feel like I won a small victory today.
How about you? Have you seen progress in your life? Maybe you could share a small victory in the discussion below.
Until Monday, Josh