It was at a time when Gator was very enthusiastic about community service. Problem was, he didn’t have a clue what that looked like. From earliest days, Gator was a loner, growing up as a selfish reptile. His lower mind was stuck in the usual ways. Find pleasure and personal peace. Even so, now and then Gator imagines giving someone an alligator death roll. After all, they deserve it! Who do they think they are! Coming so close to my tail! I’m not that kind of Gator and it makes me nervous and then, of course, angry. The usual blend of Mr. Nice Gator and the hidden one, snappy and hungry for a meal. A happy meal of a friend if it works out. The voracious appetite for self importance and recognition.
Being a mechanic, and a pretty good one according to the praise he got, Gator chanced to see the head line on a big city newspaper section. ‘God’s Grease Monkeys’ Perfect fit! Gator was what is called a baby Christian and he had the usual images of what that meant. Be nice and get extra nice points for doing something for a stranger. It was in the Bible somewhere. God likes that stuff after all. God himself is pretty nice and that seemed to be the ticket for theological success!
Gator read on and the article outlined a garage in the big city down south that repaired cars for people that had little or no money. Perfect! A shoe-in for Gator. He even got the address and time of this outreach. Gator picked a few hand tools, a code reader(that would show the one’s in charge Gator was worthy and serious) He showed up and they gladly put Gator to work. An oil change and a headlight bulb or two for starters. On the floor of the shop. Later, the next month, the staff figured Gator could do more complex things and assigned him a brake job and a tail light. It worked. That team even stuffed Gators station wagon with food that was part of the Grease Monkey outfit! “Spread it around your neighborhood” was the instructions. Right. Gator’s neighborhood was mostly lake homes and farmers. The Gators ate most of it and gave some bagels to a fellow mechanic in town. Isn’t that what freezers are for?
Gator was racking up God points and then the inevitable for all car ministries occurred: The repeat ‘customer’ with yet another car, and another after that. Judgment time. Point blank. No mercy. The Ministry was buying the parts too. Tires, wheel bearings, blower motors, filters, window regulators (look it up) and lots of light bulbs. Also, when questioned about things, often the response would be “oh, I sold that one you fixed a while back” There was no more nice Gator and nice points. He could not reconcile anything. Felt used and ineffective. Just like he always was. God seemed silent on the matter, as if Gator could hear Him anyway.
Gator even started another one, closer by with town friends. Same thing happened. ‘Why am I doing this?’ “I’m just being used!” This time Jack was ready to listen to his Lord. “Correct Gator, you are being used. What are you learning, what is happening to you? Do you find joy no matter what, do you connect with Me and talk to me? I might show you things beyond your dark curtain that would give you great joy. It started to dawn on Gator that he wasn’t really nice and he was not praying, not abiding and not listening to His Lord. It got better after that. Jack opened up and started seeing and listening to the Father and he always craved. He surrendered leadership to Him. He began witnessing to the owners of the cars he was repairing. Now the question came from the car owners: “why are you doing this?” There was, indeed an answer now, a somewhat surprising answer to everyone.
Gator began talking, even humming a bit while he served the ones Jesus had given to him. It’s pretty good. Jack Gator