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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Calm (emotionally) (09/13/07)

TITLE: Sam and the Samaritan
By Al Boyce


Sam slammed his hand on the dashboard as his truck rattled to a stop on the shoulder of a busy highway, out of gas again.

"God," he muttered aloud. "Would it have been too much to ask that I make it to the gas station?"

He slammed the door, grabbed a gasoline can from the trunk and sprinted through commuter traffic that scurried like multicolored dung beetles toward their uncertain morning objectives.

"Gotta stay calm," he thought to himself. "Sooner or later, something has to go right."

Just around the bend, one commuter was having a slightly different conversation with God as he waited for the traffic signal to enter the highway.

"Lord," he whispered. "I pray that you give me the opportunity to bless someone in Your name today."

The commuter was somewhat surprised to see a hurrying man with a gasoline can right on the ramp, but he signaled and pulled over, then waited for the man to get in.

"Thank you so much," said the slightly out-of-breath man. "I ran out of gas and I am late for class. Would you mind bringing me to a gas station and, if it's not too much trouble, back to my car?"

To the young man, the commuter was out of place -- a island of serenity somehow insulated from the raging traffic 10 feet away.

"I don't mind a bit," said the commuter, "if you don't mind hearing why I stopped."

Taking the young man's silence as assent, the commuter told him about his muttered prayer and how blessed he felt to have a chance to do something for someone else on his way to work.

The young man introduced himself as Sam, a Korean recently arrived in the United States and living with his wife and child.

"I am a Christian as well," he said. "But sometimes not such a good one."

He then confessed how he had been very angry with God that he hadn't found a job in several months. Then his car trouble and pressures at school pushed him over the edge.

"I was cursing God today," he said sadly. "And He sent you to me to remind me."

"Remind you of what?" the commuter asked.

"That God isn't here to serve me. I am here to serve God."

After dropping Sam at his truck, the commuter thought about what had happened.

"It was never about the gas, was it God?" he thought. "You used me in ways I never imagined."

He drove on, thinking about the amazing ripple effect that obedience to God can have.

The commuter was so impressed at seeing God's hand, he decided to write an article about it and post it on the Internet.

Maybe someone who reads it will pray that prayer, he thought, bless someone's life, and the circle will keep widening.

Maybe, dear reader, it will start with you.

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This article has been read 1131 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Heather Farrell09/20/07
Brilliant message!
Laurie Walker09/20/07
I love these "Pay it Forward" stories. My own fil is one of those men who will stop at the roadside when someone needs help - something you don't often see any more.

Thank you for your humbling message.
Joanne Sher 09/21/07
VERY cool - whether this is true or not, I am loving these "God coincidences." A good read.
Janice Cartwright09/21/07
A good title and you managed to tuck into the story an element of surprise when Sam unveiled as Korean. The name Sam coupled with truck spelled Redneck at the beginning making me wonder if the commuter might be risking more than his convenience. But happily both characters received a blessing, physical and spiritual at the end. I enjoyed this and it did hold my interest.
Marilyn Schnepp 09/22/07
A fantastic story and a brilliant reminder! Tears filled my eyes as I read..."instead...we're here to serve God". Loved it! Well done, well written, and you made your point calmly, cooly and it connected! Thanks for the "Thought For The Day!
Kristen Hester09/22/07
Your last line gave me chills. Oh, wow. This was remarkable. Thank you for blessing me.
Sharlyn Guthrie09/22/07
"It was never about the gas, was it God?" What a great line! Calling your commuter by name would have been less distracting (at least for me). Other than that, great job.
Loren T. Lowery09/24/07
Wonderful message and written in a easily understood manner. That we are here to serve God, not Him to serve us, really struck home for me today. I will try to continue the ripple in my little pond!
Jan Ackerson 09/24/07
Awesome, and your last three paragraphs gave me chills.
Therese Witkus09/25/07
I enjoyed the story and the message hit home in a profound and direct way. Your writing is wonderful.