After 20-Mile Walk to Work, His Boss Gave Him a Car

— Written by Mark A. Kellner

Most people who've held a job can easily recall their first day at a new workplace. It was either great, ghastly, or somewhere in between. Job holders will often recall being eager to demonstrate their enthusiasm and commitment to their new employer.

Most such demonstrations pale against what happened on a recent Sunday night near Birmingham, Alabama. A 20-year-old man named Walter Carr got a job as a mover, working for a company called Bellhops. His first assignment: helping load up a household in the town of Pelham, which was about twenty miles from his new apartment in Homewood.

At this point, there's nothing extraordinary about the story—until, that is, you find out that Carr was in a bind that Sunday night. His car wouldn't start, there was no way to fix it in time for him to get to work on time, and appeals to friends for a ride were unavailing, according to a report in The Washington Post. [1]

So Carr did what he had to do: He set the alarm for midnight and started walking—all twenty miles to his job site, the place where he would spend the day loading heavy items onto a moving truck. He gave no thought to the lack of sleep or how he would get back home.

“I was just thinking about my route, how I was going to get there in the time frame I needed to,” Carr told the newspaper.

At 4:00 am, a police officer in Pelham saw Carr sitting in a bank parking lot. He asked if the young man was okay, and Carr replied that he was trying to make it to his first day on the job on time.

On hearing the story, the officer, Mark Knighten, took Carr to an all-night restaurant, where Knighten and some other police bought him food. Carr got two more rides to his destination, and even though the homeowner offered a bed and a chance to briefly rest, Carr merely wanted to get to work.

You might guess what happened next. Carr's story hit the Internet and became a regional, and then a national, sensation. More than $44,000 was raised for the young man—who hopes to complete college and work as a physical therapist after a stint in the U.S. Marine Corps—via an online fundraising campaign. And Carr's above-and-beyond work ethic also caught the attention of someone else: Luke Marklin, the chief executive officer of Bellhops. Marklin wanted to meet his newest employee, and they connected at a restaurant twenty minutes from Carr's apartment.

During the meeting, Marklin had a surprise for Carr: The keys to Marklin's 2014 Ford Escape, a car not likely to break down any time soon. “We set a really high bar for heart and grit and …  you just blew it away,” the paper quoted Marklin as saying.

Now Carr's story is known across America and overseas after a flood of media exposure. He's a young man whose example will undoubtedly touch many others.

Stories of determination, including the early young adult novels written by Horatio Alger Jr. in the mid-1800s, have always been popular in American homes. But unlike fiction, Carr's story has, so far, a real-life happy ending—with a promise of future achievement for its hero.

Of course, there was a greater sacrifice made once that far exceeded a twenty-mile walk to work. Jesus, God the Son, left the courts of heaven to come to Earth and share our lives as a human. He felt our temptations, acknowledged our joys, and shared our sorrows. And at the end, He did not receive the ancient world equivalent of a new car; rather, He suffered an ignominious death on a cross of shame, enduring this punishment to atone for our sins.

Walter Carr sacrificed some hours of sleep and a bit of personal comfort to make it to work. Jesus sacrificed His life to make our journey to heaven possible, if only we accept His gift and trust Him as Lord and Savior.

What Jesus did for all of humanity—and for you, too—was, indeed, “The Supreme Sacrifice.” Pastor Doug explains this in a fascinating video presentation you can watch by clicking here.

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