Friday, November 09, 2007

The Truth of Inconvenience

"'For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,'
declares the LORD."

-Isaiah 55:8 (NIV)

Peace and blessings,

No this post does not have anything to do with Al Gore's film "An Inconvenient Truth," but you have to like my play off of the film's title right, lol? I just wanted to share a few thoughts about an experience I had Wednesday night. After I got out of class, I got something to eat before I started walking to my car. Because of the crazy parking situation near campus, I park about 15 minutes (walking distance) from campus and just walk it, because it's all day parking. As folks living in the Bay know, it is starting to get pretty cold at night. Once I got to my car, I noticed that my gas light came on. My initial thought was "man, I really don't want to stop for gas on the way home." Therefore, I prayed to God that I could make it home without getting gas, and I would get gas tomorrow. The reasons I really didn't want to stop for gas were:

1) I was a little under the weather, so, given that I was just walking in the cold for the past 15 minutes, I noticed that the cold weather was starting to get to me, so I wanted to get home as soon as possible. Furthermore, I really didn't feel like standing out in the cold pumping gas.

2) On my way walking to the car I picked up a broccoli and cheese soup bread bowl from Quizno's (yes, I had to give you the specifics because it is off the hook), and I wanted to get home before it got cold.

3) I knew that I had a lot of work to do when I get home, and I know that the longer it took me to get home, the more likely I would want to chill and procrastinate when I got home. I know how I operate, and if I don't "strike when the iron's hot," then I get complacent.

So as you can see, stopping for gas that evening would have appeared to me to be an inconvenience. As soon as I start driving, the gas light goes off and I'm feeling optimistic about my chances of getting home before the gas tank gets really low. However, this optimism quickly waned, as right before I approach the freeway onramp, the light comes on again and the gauage looks real "suspect." Huffing and puffing under my breadth, I turn into the gas station to get some gas. Before proceeding with the story, it is important for me to let you know about my "gas station steez." For people who know me (or at least have visited this blog) know that I am a hip-hop head, and have a substantial collection of Christian hip-hop. Given my views on
  • mainstream media's "haterism" towards Christian hip-hop,
  • I make an effort to really blast my Christian hip-hop while I'm cruisin' in Justice (the name of my car). In addition, I tend to blast my music while I'm pumping my gas, while either having the window rolled down or leaving the driver's door open, lol. Normally I do this without giving much thought to those around me. My reasoning being that since we get bombarded daily with garbage that passes for good music or hip-hop, blasting my Christian hip-hop is an act of resistence, as well as my way of introducing people to a healthy alternative they may know little or nothing about.

    This particular time at the gas station, however, was a little different. As I was pumping my gas, I became overly conscious of my blasting of my Christian hip-hop. I admit that this is a result of two ethnic and age steretypes that I held at the moment. Because the woman pumping gas next to me appeared to be a middle aged Asian woman, I automatically assumed that 1) she may not be a Christian and that 2) she would not be interested in being on the receiving end of me blasting my music. I was wrong on both fronts. While pumping gas she asked me who was I listening to. I told her that the artist was Flame and the album as
  • 13 Letters
  • by the 116 Click. After telling her what the song and album was about (the 13 Pauline letters), she said it was good hear something different type of music. I offered to give her my copy (because those who know also know that I keep my originals at home, lol), but she said no thank you, but nevertheless indicated that she was feeling the concept of the music. She then told me that she was on her way to her church to hear T.D. Jakes speak. So hear you have it, a presumably middle aged Asian woman and a young adult African American male chopping it up about Christian hip-hop and church at an Oakland gas station at night. Tight huh? After we parted ways, all I could do was thank God because not only was I trying to avoid going to the gas station, but I had a complaining spirit once I got to the gas station. Nevertheless, God once again reminded me of the above scripture, and that sometimes times of inconvenience (perceived or actual) are in fact opportunities to learn a little more about Him, His children, and ourselves.

    This experience really taught me about the importance of viewing situations as opportunities for God to work in our lives. Who knows, maybe our encounter had to do with breaking down stereotypes and embracing the
  • diversity of God's kingdom?
  • Regardless of the meaning of the encounter, one truth is in fallible: God knows what's best for us better than we do! What do you think? Have you had any similar "interesting" encounters? Has there ever been a time when you didn't want to do something, but once you did you realized that God revealed something to you or about you in the process? Take care, have a blessed weekend, and speekonit...

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