Driving home one night, as I rounded the last bend to my house there stood a man on the sidewalk soliciting for a ride home. I felt a pressing urgency to assist this man, but instead, I began to justify why I did not need to help him.
See, this is a regular occurrence as my house is situated about 600 meters for one of the main streets in our area linking two major cities. I have assisted individuals from time to time at late hours such as this since the taxis aren’t as regular if at all at this hour. I also knew where he was headed, a township about a 15-minute drive from my house.
It was already 11 pm and I need to be up at 4 am to get done with everything I need to get done. I need my 6 hours of sleep you know. And since I am already on only 5, this half hour round trip would cause a rather unpleasant morning.
Lucky for me, God was rather persistent and by the time I covered the remaining 500 meters to my garage I subjected to the call, turned around and picked up a pleasant gentleman called Siphiwe.
Yes, he was going exactly where I suspected. So I struck up a conversation to pass the time. Turns out he is a delivery driver for one of our big milk product companies and had just returned from a long distance delivery.
I asked him if I hadn’t picked him up, how he would get home. He said at this hour he almost never finds a taxi, so he walks the distance. This takes him an hour and a half. Still, in justification mode, I inquired as to whether he would get the day off tomorrow. To my surprise, not only did he not get the day off, but he had to report for work at 4 am. This meant he had to get up at 3 am. So had he walked he would have only enjoyed 2 and a half hours of sleep. Apparently, this is a fairly regular occurrence.
Oh, the shame I felt for moaning about my 5 hours of sleep! God has this way of letting us off easy, but showing us that we are sometimes selfish inconsiderate little brats. 🙂 He was right! Siphiwe does not know it, but he changed my life! He changed the way I look at myself and other people, and he even changed the way I look at sleep.
Looking back, I thank God for His persistence despite my belligerence. By not listening to the promptings of His Spirit that night I would not only have lost the opportunity to bless Siphiwe with a small act of kindness, but I would have been a poorer man for it…