Lessons From The Gas Station
Sometime last year, I made my way to my favorite gas station to fill up . I wasn’t planning on making a stop that day but on my way home after a rather long and tiring day, I noticed that my fuel gauge was nearing empty. I had two options; either continue home as is and leave 20 minutes early the next morning to stop by a gas station or stop over now and get it over with. I reckoned that the latter was a more feasible solution and I dragged myself there. I joined a long queue of cars and patiently waited for my turn at the pump. After what seemed like eternity, it was finally my time to gas up.
As I filled up, I noticed that some people were honking at a driver across another lane. He was done pumping gas but decided to sit in his car and make a phone call. When those who were behind him in the long queue realized what was happening, they began to honk. Immediately, my critical mind sprang into action and I proceeded to analyze the situation. When this same individual was waiting his turn in line while on the phone no one honked, but the moment he was done filling up, and still remained at the pump to take another call, people started to honk. Although I was not a fan of the noise they were making, I understood the frustration of the other drivers quite well. Eventually, the guy hurriedly drove away.
The gas station is not for phone calls or hanging around. Once you accomplish your goal of filling up, it’s time to move on out so the next person can move in and fill up. You become a nuisance when you fill up and don’t move. This is because everyone in line has someplace to get to. No one fills their tank without having an errand or trip in mind, surely, no one says to themselves “today, I’m going to gas up and park my car because I will never go anywhere”. On the contrary, you fill up because you are anticipating movement.
This scenario parallels life experiences. Imagine you graduate from a 3 year program and the expectation is that you would either further your education or find gainful employment. Wouldn’t it be concerning if upon graduating you spend another 3 years just gallivanting the corridors of that school and bragging about your academic achievement? Even if you were once the most liked person on campus, you’ll soon become the most avoided person.
Relevance then is linked with accomplishing something (big or small) with what you have been given; it’s not about hoarding or being idle. No wonder scripture reminds us that “unto whom much is given, much will be required”. And yes, just like a moving vehicle will sooner than later return to the gas station to top up again, we also must know when to “top up” our strength, skills, perspective, opportunities and impact. The expectation is that we will keep moving in the right direction whenever we “ fill up”.
And if peradventure you find that you need to get off the road a while for major car repairs or life alignment, that’s fine to; much needed actually. Just be sure to come back better. Never forget that we are empowered to empower, blessed to bless and established to establish. We are relevant when we relate.