Fuelin’ Up

As I got out of my car, I groaned and the guy fueling up on the other side of the gas pump smirked. “It hurts, doesn’t it?” He asked.

I mentally calculated how much a full tank of gas was going to cost at $3.65 a gallon. I traded complaints with the guy on the other side, who informed me that filling up his huge pick up truck was going to cost close to $100.
I sighed as I watched the number climb. I resisted the urge to stop the pump, because I knew I needed the gas and if I didn’t fill it up today, I’d be back soon enough to top off. I remembered being in college in Evansville and driving to Henderson for gas because it was only 88 cents a gallon.
It’s so frustrating, isn’t it? Gas is so expensive. /complaining
I’m not feeling political about the price of gas. However, I will say this:
1. The rising cost sure is making me conserve gas more. The higher the number at the pump, the more efficient I become with my errands and trips. For example, I used to head to Evansville once a week or so. Now I evaluate the importance of the trip before I go.
2. I try to buy all of my gas at the nearby CountryMark station. CountryMark uses American refined oil from the Illinois basin–so it’s local, even.
But here’s the thing: as much as I complain? I’m still able to go to the gas station and fill up my car whenever I need to do it. I may do my best to conserve the gas in my tank, but if I need to go somewhere–work, the doctor, coffee with a friend in Evansville…I’m going, and if I don’t have enough gas to get there, I’ll stop on the way. This won’t be true for much longer if gas continues to climb–there will come a point where I just can’t afford a full tank whenever I need it. For some people, that’s a reality of right now.
“I just need to get my mom to Evansville for her doctor’s appointment,” the young lady told me in the church fellowship hall the other day. “She has to go. I’ve been everywhere, no one has funds.” Our church does try to meet needs like this–we have a very limited amount of funds for this. It used to be that we could give someone a $20 gas voucher for a local gas station and that would be a lot of gas…not so much now that gas is $3.73/gallon (today’s price in Henderson).
I feel much concern for the people that are hurt most by the rising gas prices–there are people who no matter how important their errands and trips are, they cannot afford it. And I run into them every day and their stories are difficult. And it’s hitting more places than the gas station–been to the grocery store lately?
I’m praying for people who are going without today because they have no choice. It’s the only solution I have right now.