Bad enough that I had to give away my left arm to get my car out of the mechanic's shop. But now, this other guy-- he's trying to force a conversation with me. I wasn't quite in the mood and his chattiness added to my frustrations. I was about to give away my precious arm in exchange for the repairs on my clunky car.
Couldn't he just let me suffer my pain in peace and quietness?
Don't get me wrong, the guy was very friendly. Very likable guy under any other set of circumstances.
But the moment I walked up to the counter, I knew deep within myself that he had an agenda. I just wasn't sure what that agenda was.
And I didn't feel like dealing with whatever agenda he had while preparing to give away my left arm.
He went on about how hot it was outside.
He went on about how cool it was inside.
He went on about how the fellow sitting behind me had been waiting a very long time to retrieve his car.
(Oh great. That means I'll be waiting a while, too.)
Then almost on cue, the mechanics pull up with the fellow's car. The poor guy that was waiting all this time is finally set free. He waves goodbye as he leaves me all alone with "the talker".
Now the guy goes on and on about how the other fellow finally retrieved his car and can now go back to work.
I finally give in --
"Yeah", I say. "Now he's got to hurry back to work so he can earn enough to pay for his car repairs."
"Ain't that the truth. Man, you know, it's good that we're finally in the middle of the year. Now your finally making money for yourself".
I suppose he saw a puzzled look on my face, so he continued.
"Did you know that half the year we just work to pay our taxes? You only make money for yourself in the second half of the year".
I began to wonder to myself what he was trying to sell.
And I knew it was coming, whatever it was.
Some financial service? Some medical plan? A dental plan? Expired meat from the trunk of his car?
He wanted something from me. What was it?
My other arm?
"Man I tell ya, these taxes are getting so high. Why, when I was doing missionary work in . . . ."
Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding!
Ah Ha! He was gearing up to witness to me! I knew it!
" . . . when I was doing missionary work in (some foreign European country) the people complained about paying super high taxes. All the socialist programs took up half their money. That's where we're headed here in America before too long".
What was taking that clerk so long to come to the counter?
Maybe losing a left arm won't be so bad after all.
A quick glance at the notebook resting in his lap reveled yet another book tucked inside. I caught a glimpse of that unmistakable image of a cross on the cover of his book.
Now, I must say again that the guy was very kind and friendly. He even got the clerk's attention for me so I wouldn't have to keep waiting. A very kind gesture. I had no idea the clerk was sitting in a little room just behind the cash register.
So, I have nothing against the guy.
But I knew he was trying to force a connection with me from the moment I walked in. I knew he wanted to try and convince me of something before we parted ways.
And for some reason, that realization bugged me.
I made my transaction for my vehicle and bled money all over the counter.
Then I started out to my car so that I could hurry back to work. Now I gotta try to stop the financial hemorrhaging.
Couldn't get out the door fast enough.
"Oh, before you go, I'd like to leave you with something . . ."
I'm too nice to say "no", so I took his little pocket sized religious tract.
I thanked him and shoved it into my pocket.
What an odd feeling! I've witnessed to so many people in my life. So awkward to be on the receiving end!
When I arrived back to work, I sat in the parking lot for a moment. I pulled out the tract and took a glance.
A picture of Einstein, a banana and a coke can jump out at me, along with the tract title:
The Atheist Test.
"Ooooh boy", I thought to myself. "Now this is going to be fun".
So, my next few posts will discuss the arguments against atheism found within that little religious tract. Then, I will share my reactions to those arguments.
And of course, your reactions are welcomed too.