I grew up in the small rural neighborhood of Mycenae, NY. The only local business was a Ennis and Sons service station, owned and operated by my best girlfriend’s parents and brothers. My Dad purchased all of our gas there at the full service pumps; he had routine maintenance done on our family cars in the attached garage. Customers pumped their own gas only in a pinch; “self-serve” was jargon to this country girl.
It would be interesting to track the early beginnings of self-serve and the near demise of full service gas stations. The public easily adapted to self-serve at convenience stores and forfeited the personal service they were so accustomed to receiving. I clearly remember service station attendants in uniforms multitasking, moving from gas pump-to washing windows, checking oil, water, and battery under the hood, and stooping to check air in our tires.
Do we still bend down in worship and service to God and others at our local churches? Have we instead become acclimated to using church as merely a convenience center? Is there an atmosphere of personal care or has it become one of little contact with one another? I am not against progress; some changes have made my life easier. I do see danger in sacrificing reverence and relationships for the sake of my personal convenience.
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