Sometimes I have a problem with the "You are now entering the mission field" signs on the edge of church parking lots. Can the church property not also be a mission field? Yet sometimes we need that reminder. Sometimes we forget worship does not conclude when we leave the parking lot.
I forgot that on Sunday.
After church and lunch, we said goodbye to the youth who had touched our lives for the last two days and prepared for our three-hour journey back to school.
First stop: gas station.
The university keeps a gas card in the twelve-passenger van was I driving. I plugged in the card and it said, "See attendant."
Trip into the gas station number one. She told me to try it again and if it didn't work I could pay inside after I filled up.
Back at the pump, it didn't work a second time. I filled up the van and went inside to pay.
Trip into the gas station number two. We ran the card and it was denied. We ran it again, still denied. We ran it as debit, but I didn't have a PIN.
Back at the van, I called Heather. No answer. We called Kevin. He said he didn't know the PIN and told us to call Neal. Neal was apologetic that we hadn't been given the PIN before we left campus.
Trip into the gas station number three. On the phone with Neal, I punched in the PIN he gave me. Still no luck.
That's when I started to get short with him. It was out of frustration but that didn't make it right. Had I learned nothing on our weekend of living to worship? I could have been worshipping at the gas station... thanking God that we had gas to fill up the van, that our only snafu was a misbehaving gas card, and the ability to reach someone who was willing to help us on a Sunday afternoon while he was spending time with his family. I could have been courteous to the attendant and the man on the phone.
Getting mad at Neal wasn't worship. In fact, it was the opposite. It was getting cranky with someone who was trying to help.
The chorus of the Casting Crowns's song "The Altar and the Door" saying, "I will not lose my follow through between the altar and the door." Not forgetting everything we learned in church between when we leave the sanctuary and when we, as the sign in the parking lot says, enter the mission field. Instead, we should take what we've learned home with us and implement it into our lives.
Well, fail, Katie.
I lost a fight with a gas card and I lost my worship mindset. A mile from the church and I had two apologies to make: one to Neal and one to God.
Thankful for forgiveness,
PS: On the fourth trip into the gas station, I paid out of pocket and was reimbursed when we made it safely back to campus.