Becoming a Christian was the best thing that ever happened to me in my life, but it was very confusing at first. What would be expected of me? How am I suppose to behave? I had always understood Christianity to mean that I had to be perfect and sinless; if I wasn’t then I must not really be a Christian. As God began to take real situations in my life and open my heart to see the spiritual application, it changed my perception of Christianity. I realized that becoming a Christian meant that I could start a new life and begin a journey with God. This story is part of my early journey with God and what He taught me about being obedient.
For several months I had been without a job. I wasn’t really looking for one but I wanted to do something more productive with my life. I received a call from Naomi, the secretary at my church. She had a job offer and I accepted. I was on my way to fill out the papers to make it all official when I stopped to pick up a combo meal from the local burger joint. While waiting to order I decided to get two combos and take one to Naomi as a thank you. I had never been to lunch with her and I didn’t know what she liked, so I got hers the same as mine. I felt very proud of myself for doing something nice for someone else and could hardly wait to get to the church. About that time I remembered that sometimes a volunteer comes to help her. What if she was there and I didn’t get her anything, so I decided that I could give her mine. This meant that I would have to see if she was there before I ate any of my food or drank my soda. Just when I thought the problem was solved I wondered what I would do if they were gone to lunch or already had plans, then I would have extra food, and reheated burger and fries are gross. As I was dealing with this dilemma in my head, I saw a man on the side of the road in front of a convenient store. He looked to be barefooted and his clothes were old and worn. He had long blonde hair matted with dirt. I had never seen him before. I live in a fairly small town and it is uncommon to see people on the roadside like that but he was my answer. If they already had plans, I said to myself, then the extra food I could bring back to give to him. Again, just when all my problems were solved, God said, “Give it to him now.” “Wait, what, NO!” I exclaimed as I sped up, “I got that for Naomi.” And He said again, “Give it to him now.” “But Lord,” I said in disappointment, “I want to give it to Naomi, that’s who I bought it for.” He said, “Naomi is taken care of, I want him to have it.” By this time I was about a mile down the road. I turned around and headed back to the store with a whole new argument. “What am I going to say to him Lord? I don’t want him to think I am looking down on him. What am I supposed to say? ‘Here, you look like you could use some food’ or ‘The Lord told me to stop and give this to you.’ I don’t know what to say.” God said, “Don’t worry about what to say.” When I got back to the convenient store, I didn’t see him. I was afraid that I had argued with God too long. But, just as I was about to give up hope, there he was walking across the parking lot. I walked over to him calling “Sir”, and my eye was drawn to a couple in a car, they were looking at me as I walked toward him. I heard the man say, “Oh, I thought you were talking to me.” I turned my attention back to him and said, “Oh, yes sir, I was talking to you, I’m sorry…” I don’t know what I said after that. Something about a friend and extra food. He was following me to my car when I said, “It is only going to waste if someone doesn’t eat it.” I lead him to the passenger side and pulled a hamburger and fries out of the bag; I handed it to him along with a coke. I never looked at his face I only saw his hands. I watched him walk away struggling to carry everything. Then, a couple getting gas caught my eye, they were watching me, as I watch him. I didn’t look for him after that but he was headed for the back of the store. I got in my car and continued on my way, but I was only a few miles down the road when I realized that I did not give him a napkin. Then an avalanche of mistakes came rushing into my head. I didn’t give him ketchup, salt, or a bag! I had an empty bag sitting in the seat next to me that he could have used to carry his food. I didn’t need that bag; it was serving me no purpose. And how could I leave without telling him about Jesus! I didn’t tell him about the Lord! It was so hot that day I could have let him sit in the air-conditioned car to eat, then I could’ve shared Jesus with him. While I was beating myself up for all the wrongs I did, God said, “Thank you for being obedient, you did fine.” I always look for him when I pass that convenient store and remember the day I pleased God.
This story is one that I cherish because looking back I believe that I am the only one that saw the barefooted, long-haired man that I fed that day and God taught me a lesson in obedience. God didn’t ask me to share Jesus with that man, He didn’t ask me to give him a ride, or give him a napkin, bag, or condiments. God asked me to give him the food and told me not to worry about what to say, and that is what I did. Be careful that you are not too critical on yourself. Just obey God and enjoy your journey with Him.