A few weeks ago my husband and I were heading to a friends house to have dinner. On the way there we drove past a group of 4 young adults, I’d say they were in their early twenties. They were standing on a busy corner with a gas can asking passing drivers for money to fill the gas can so they could continue with their road trip.
As we passed by I felt a tug in my heart to help them out, however, the light turned green, and we didn’t have time to stop and donate to their cause. As I continued to drive, I felt this tugging grow stronger, and I heard a voice inside me say “You should turn around and fill up the car with gas for them.”
I kept driving to my destination but a few seconds later I came to a roundabout and instead of going through the roundabout, I used this opportunity to turn around and head back to where these young people were.
My husband turned to me and asked: “Where are we going?”
I told him we needed to go back to those kids and fill up their car with gas.
His reply was a smile with an “Ok.”
When we got back to where these kids were, we pulled into the parking lot and walked over to them. They were all smiles and asked how we were doing. We told them we were fine and asked them if they were able to get their car to the gas station across the street.
With a questioning look, one of the young men replied “Yes.”
“Great,” we said, “We’d like to fill up your tank so you can get to your destination.”
The look they had on their faces when we told them this was like they had just won the lottery. “Are you serious?” they said with their beaming smiles.
We confirmed that yes, we were serious and told them we would meet them at the gas station.
A few minutes later they pulled up in their little four-door sedan packed to the brim with everything they owned, plus their pit bull.
As they got out of the car to pump their gas, you could tell they were free spirits and had been going where ever the wind took them, not bogged down by life or jobs. As we stood there chatting with them, we learned they had been living in Oregon for the past year and were heading back to Montana to get ‘real jobs’ and become grown up adults.
In the brief conversation, we had with them; we could tell they were enjoying life, free from struggles and the weight of the world. I remember smiling and thinking to myself, that I hoped they would find those real jobs but that it wouldn’t change their character.
We saw these strangers on the side of the road, but we left these strangers as friends. As they finished pumping their gas, we all exchanged handshakes, hugs, and smiles. I think about them often wondering if they made it to Montana, wondering if they have found ‘real jobs’ and hoping that they are still the free spirited people we met. They don’t know it, but they blessed me in that brief meeting.
God gives us opportunities every day to help out our fellow man. It could be something as simple as a smile, or filling up a car with gas. Regardless of what it is, the important thing is we take the time to look for and act on these opportunities rather than ignore them. I don’t believe in coincidence; I believe that we are all appointed times in our day to encourage and help those we meet along the way. But allow me to let you in on a secret. In those moments when you find someone to help, don’t be surprised if you suddenly realize reach out, something happens inside of you. It may just be a difficult to see who that opportunity was meant to bless. Is it for the people you meet or was for yourself?
Today is a great day to reach out and find your opportunity and your blessing and I would love to hear your story.