Full Service…With A Smile


You know what I miss? Even though I was a kid I still remember them. I miss full-service gas stations. It didn’t matter whether daddy was getting $2 worth of gas or filling up the tank. The service attendant checked your tires and your oil all while asking about your folks. You could leave your car unlocked, purse on the seat, keys in the ignition and walk inside and get a Coke. Then come back out and the car would be running and your windshield would be nice and clean. I always looked back as we drove away and he would be waiving and smiling at me.

That was in the day when everything was “hands on”. It was when your word was worth more than any contract on paper. That was when boys were taught to shake someone’s hand firm and look them in the eye. Not just because it was good manners but because it was a gesture of respect. Daddy always shook the service man’s hand thanking him before we left. Funny how I just remembered that.

This morning I filled up at the store with my card at the pump. I was careful to lock all my doors because I’ve seen at least 15 videos where thieves ride up all sneaky like and grab your purse off the seat when you’re not watching. I didn’t use my cell phone while I pumped either because …well…that’s a fire hazard. And I tried not to breathe in many of the fumes because I now know they are killing my brain cells. Once I get back in the car, I’m quick to get a squirt of hand sanitizer as so not to catch the canary flu or cooties, because studies have shown that stuff lives all day on those gas handles.

As I drive away I see that there’s a service light blinking off and on telling me my tires need checking. I will just have to worry about that later besides, I can barely see thru what’s left of the love bug “love fest” and dirt on my windshield. Man…..what I wouldn’t give to have been able to start my day at the service station by driving over that loud bell line that let them know I was there. I can almost see the man now. He’s wearing dark blue coveralls with his name hand stitched in red on a white patch above the pocket on his chest. He’s got a faded red grease rag in his chapped oil stained hands and he’s smiling at me.

Is it that special attention, that was just expected back then, that I miss so much? Or is it the service with a smile and joyful heart?
I believe it’s both.

How many times do we take our empty tank that life drains out and really fill it up? Not with nonsense that doesn’t count like I did today at the store but with the word of God. With every reminder of His promises. Just like the service station owner sends out the faithful attendant to help us, God sent His Son to cover our every debt. This is a debt we could never afford to repay.
I do wonder when I get to heaven if there will be a bell that will announce that I’m there?

I can only imagine!
I can see Him now wearing a beautiful robe of white, His nail scarred hands -one holding a book with my name written in red and one hand reaching out for mine. I really see every detail of His face….
He’s smiling at me.

~ Susan Q. Bailey