Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Pumping Gas

It used to be you could find a full service gas station on almost every corner. Full service meant you sat in your car while the attendant looked after the needs of your vehicle. All the windows got washed; the oil got checked; the water levels and battery terminals were checked - and this was all done while the gas was pumping into the tank. Loyalty was important as far as the local stations were concerned. They knew you and they knew your car.

Lately I've decided I might have to add a gas pump to my ever evolving story. Now I really know the story is going to be wild because I'm pretty sure we would never have been offered the choice of being an 'object'. Humor me, though. It's my blahg and I'm in the mood to ramble.

Since self-serve gas stations are one of the many signs of our advancing times, I was actually pumping my own gas into my vehicle when I decided it would have been an interesting choice. I'm always trying to get every drop of gas I can into the tank. Not sure why. I've tried making the dollar amount even and that's happened a time or two. I don't think I've ever been able to get the gallons to come out even. And I know for a fact I've never been able to gauge the drops of fuel so precisely as to get the dollar amount AND the gallons to both be even numbers (not the same numbers - just both even). And it was filling my orange VW Beetle before I got married when the dollar amount was less than the amount of gallons.

Anyway, my gas-pumping techninque is, therefore, a series of battles between me and the nozzle. *I squeeze the trigger to get just one more drop or two of gas in the tank and the car somehow communicates with the nozzle that it is full, it's had enough, so shut off already. The trigger then clicks off. And it's a repeat from the * until I feel I've won. Or until I find myself splashed with the nasty smelling stuff because I've pushed the limit.

So, of course, this particular day, I realized, in a humorous way, of course, I was that nozzle. I get spouting off all these amazing and wonderfully weighty, witty words of wisdom when I'm talking to my kids; trying to get every last drop I can into their tank. I have the best intentions.  How dare I be clicked off like that in mid-drop! And why do I continue to get this surprised look on my face when I hear that click and realize I've been shut off? "Is there such a thing as a victimized gas nozzle?" I think to myself as I take my hose and hang myself back up in my spot.

Then I was reading something about being inspired and in tune to the promptings of the Spirit. As offended and caught-off-guard as I seem to be when I get shut off, how many times do I turn around and do the same thing to Heavenly Father? How many times have I said/thought,  "I'm becoming so enlightened by reading all these books written by (wo)man, I don't need to read the scriptures." Click. Or, "Surely He knows what's in my heart already, and I'm really tired, so I don't need to pray tonight." Click. Or "The weekend has gone so fast and I haven't gotten everything done that I intended to. I could sure use that three hours on Sunday!" Click. Not only am I shutting down the actual inspiration, but I'm missing all the little additives that are kind of bonuses; i.e. the little things that go right during the day because I am better able to liken them to the scriptures I've been reading or the relationship I am building upon when I take the time to actually tell Heavenly Father what's in my heart instead of assuming He knows.

Thank goodness He doesn't give up on me or get disgusted and leave. Thank goodness He waits patiently for me to realize I run a lot better when I allow His inspiration to surge through me. And thank goodness He's not grounded to this one spot, either, because I've had to be rescued on the side of the road more times than I care to remember because I've allowed myself to run empty!

So, I dare you to pump gas the same way again!


  1. No, I guess I won't pump gas the same any more. Thanks for your inspiration. Love you.

  2. Janis... I can't tell you how much I admire you and give thanks to Heavenly Father that he put you in my life to be source of inspiration (insert smart remark from you here...) ha ha! Seriously, that has been my life lately. Too tired to pray, too tired to read scriptures. When I should be talking with him every moment I have because of all the blessings I have received from him. I also do so much better when I am in constant communication with him... but, sometimes I fall short and I hate it! Love ya!

  3. You do have a gift! I usually get gas on the way to Burger King to get a mega size drink, so the only thing I think about when I'm pumping gas is how good my addiction is going to taste. Hope that inspires someone! I'm hopeless.