October 18, 2010

Lessons at a Gas Station

I live in Oregon now and have obtained a driver's license from this state; does that make me an Oregonian? I just bought my first pair of rainboots (and they're super cute). Does that make me an Oregonian? I don't pump my own gas... Oregonian much?  Well, I have a story for you...

Last week, I was driving home from a business trip in the Seattle area.  My gas tank was in need of replenishment so I stopped at a gas station.

 Note: One of my largest frustrations since moving to Forest Grove is the fact that I have to let someone else pump my gas.  I am fully capable of doing so, and it takes far more time to wait for the attendant to help me.  I'm too efficient to be burdened with those additional seconds while I wait to be served.  Often, for me, the scene at the gas station looks like this: I pull in, wait, and wait, and wait. I am finally served. My gas finishes pumping but the attendant has moved on to help someone else.  SO now I must wait longer for them to return to remove the gas pump.  Impatience and frustration ensues.

Back to the story at hand... I pulled in and there was only one other car there... being in a hurry to get home, I was relieved in seeing the solitary car in hopes that my service would be quick and efficient. I waited. I cleaned up some stray garbage in my car. And waited. Five minutes later (which is a long time), the other car had left and I had yet to be served.  So I sat there stewing about how inefficient the state of Oregon is, how annoying it is that I can't pump my own gas, how the world would be better if I were at the helm, etc...

Then it hit me.  I was still in Washington.

Who's the fool now?  So I humbly got out of my car and pumped my gas and was on my way - struck by what had just happened.

The situation is comical, but many times in my life, I find that I am driven by my desire for efficiency and my all-too-present impatience rather than love & compassion.  As a result, I find myself being driven by my own selfish agenda... and I don't see others.  I'm reading a phenomenal book at the suggestion of my good friend, Loraena Tuttle, about Jesus and the way in which He loved.  It has brought to my attention the way in which efficiency drives my life as opposed to love.  Jesus' life was driven by love rather than efficiency.  The fact is, love is not efficient.

Granted, while I was seething in my car, the only person I was hurting was myself... but that was just a reminder of the many times that I assume the worst about a person or a situation before I examine my own fault in the matter.  I am blinded by the proverbial log in my own eye, and all I can see is the speck in someone else's.   I am so frustrated at the attendant for not serving me, when - all along - I was the one who was wrong.

So now that I expect others to pump my own gas, perhaps that does indeed make me an Oregonian.  But the fact that I don't always choose love in a situation shows that I am really a sinner in need of a Savior.



  1. Thanks, Laura! That was a great way to take out a lesson from an otherwise embarrassing situation. I have experienced situations like that where I feel the burn of embarrassment, even if no one else noticed. There is often a lesson in those experiences and you found a valuable one!


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