Delivery driver, in Twinkie of an eye, jobless; ‘bad feeling’ in ignoring God

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Loss of a job has put Greg Volz into the painful position of recognizing he has neglected the things of God for years, though now he wants to rely on Him for help. He has just stepped out from a men’s Bible study held Tuesdays at an East Ridge restaurant.

By David Tulis

A newcomer to a men’s Bible study every Tuesday at noon at Wally’s in East Ridge sits stolidly and expressionless at the end of table, taking in the hymns doled out in single verses and the genial comments of its members; he follows along in a borrowed Bible a study of 20 lines in Hebrews. Some men drink coffee; others finish lunch plates.

It is stated he had been thrown out of work in the collapse of Wonder bread and Twinkie maker Hostess Brands, which announced Monday it is closing 36 plants and liquidiating all assets, throwing 18,000 people out of work. A walkout by an old economy player in the use of force, a union, prompted the jolt toward bankruptcy court.

Greg Volz, 54, is a former route driver and salesman for Hostess who lost work Friday. Mr. Volz says he has no hope for a revival of the company. “We’ve already given the business away locally to other competitors.” Chattanooga area customers such as Checkers, Sonics and grocers such as Save-A-Lot quickly leaped to rivals, he says.

Mr. Volz got into sales in 1976, worked 15 years for Colonial Baking Co. and had a Little Debbie distributorship as an independent contractor for 18 years. With Hostess he had been in management but when he was laid off he was a regular driver. In straight delivery, he could have relationships with customers and earn a commission, though days lasted 10 to 12 hours. The divorced man has three children, the youngest, 16, still a dependent. He has two hurting knees and is planning somehow to get knee replacement surgery.

He indicates the disincentives in state welfare benefits for the jobless. “It’s hard to accept a job that pays less than the unemployment I’ll be receiving.” He was quick to file for the state benefit, which is F$100 greater than an alternative F$220 a week disability benefit he’d considered for his knees.

Spiritual shipwreck sized up

I ask Mr. Volz what sense he makes of the meeting,  overseen by the Christian Business Mens Network. The group sponsors a regular 7 a.m. Monday gathering for job seekers called Men in Transition. The Bible study is hosted by Steve Centafont, the restaurant’s manager, who tells a vivid conversion story.

“It makes a lot of sense,” Mr. Volz says. “I’m a Christian, I’m saved, I haven’t been right with God for several years, and, you know, I realize I can’t do this on my own. You know, Steve is a real good friend of mine. Actually, I wasn’t even coming here today and I saw his truck in the parking lot, *** and I just happened to pull in.” He rejects the notion of luck in his having turned into Wally’s; he ascribes it to the Holy Spirit.

He is full of regrets. Mr. Volz says he’s “missed out on a lot in life in learning the Word, and I’m wondering how things would have been different had I just relied on Him. What I should’ve done, and what I didn’t do — it’s just a bad feeling.”

A purpose in every disaster?

I reassure Mr. Volz that nothing happens outside the providence of God, even the most evil things. “Look at God’s people in Egypt,” I say afterward. “Do you remember the account of the Pharaoh and Moses? God hardened Pharaoh’s heart so that the tyranny against the Israelites would intensify, and when Moses comes on the scene Pharaoh’s heart is so hard that God has occasion to display his mighty power in the destruction of Egypt by the plagues, including the great last judgment — the death of all the firstborn in Egypt. Just imagine how loud the outcry across that land when all across Egypt the dead were found in every house. God uses great crises to get people’s attention and to demonstrate his power to save and to destroy. He saves His people; he destroys His enemies.”

I suggest to Mr. Volz that if a single atom exists somewhere in the universe that does not have to obey the will of God, then that atom would be God, and God would be powerless to ordain anything, and would simply be a powerful player in the universe, instead of God.

Source: “Hostess Union Clings to Hope,” Wall Street Journal, Nov. 19, 2012

“Last Chance to Save the Twinkie,” Wall Street Journal Nov. 20, 2012

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