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Get High on Life

By Harold Keller / L’Observateur / August 31, 1998

God has a way of testing you when you are in a comfort zone. I am veryseldom in that zone, but when I am, I’m always tested and 95 percent of the time I fail the challenge.

A case in point – About four Sundays ago, I was hoarse and didn’t feel up to par. My wife went to church and I stayed home. (I must admit that Ireally didn’t feel that bad.)About 11 a.m., I was reading the newspaper, sitting in a comfortable chair,and the telephone rings. I answered and on the other end was a man whosaid that someone told him I could help him. “What’s the problem?” Iasked. “I’m from another state and my car broke down. I’m at a servicestation with my wife and three children. We don’t have any money, food ora place to stay.” “Who told you to call me?” I inquired. His reply was: “Aman in a blue truck.” I immediately got mad at a man I didn’t know exceptthat he was in a blue truck.

I started thinking, “Why me, God?” Why didn’t that man in the blue truck help him? I then realized that my wife had our car. I called my daughter, Kay, andasked her to go to the service station and pick them up. “And what do I doafter that?” she asked.

I called one of the local motels and arranged a room for them. I gave themsome money for food.

The next day, I tried to talk them into going back home. (I wanted theproblem to go away.) They decided to stay and, as it happened, they stayedat the motel for five days. Someone out of kindness took care of the motelexpenses.

The man is now working and they are renting a trailer. Some peopledonated food and clothes. Two of the children are now in school.Yes, God interfered with my comfort zone. I helped, but not with a goodheart. I was being tested. My report card read: Compassion – D, Kindness -D, Willing to Serve – F, Willing to Share – C. (Looks like some grades I hadin high school.)This past Monday at 8 a.m., I was really at peace and had just told my wifethat I had never felt better about myself and our relationship and about life in general. Would you believe? God did it again!I received a phone call at 8:15 a.m. I answered with a smile. The voice onthe other end said, “Who do you think you are, writing that article about the president? You have a lot of nerve. Did you ever lie?” “None of yourbusiness,” I roughly answered. I can’t ever remember being more upset ona telephone. I had enough! I then said, “The Bible says that when you arguewith a fool be sure he isn’t doing the same thing.” “That’s why I’m hangingup,” he answered. Mad? I was boiling!For two hours after, I was tormented. God wouldn’t let me rest. “Youfailed again,” He said.

I finally called the man. His wife answered and I asked to speak to herhusband. “This is Harold Keller,” I said. “Would you please forgive me forbeing so ugly to you? I had no right to treat you as I did.” I claim to be aChristian, but my reactions were anything but godly.

The man graciously accepted my apology and we exchanged a few pleasantries. I also found out that he was 72 years old and had 13grandchildren. As we ended our conversation, I thanked him for forgivingme and wished him and his family well. After that phone call, I felt asthough a big load had been lifted off of my shoulders.

It’s amazing how good you can feel when you act the way God wants you to.

You would think that after all this time I would learn and quit getting upset when my plans are interrupted or my feathers are ruffled.

Harold Keller is a regular columnist for L’Observateur.

Copyright © 1998, Wick Communications, Inc.

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