On yesterday afternoon, I ran an errand to a consistently busy part of town. For the past month or so, I’ve ran this same errand almost twice a week and dreaded the parking situation. Rarely have I been lucky enough to find a parking space close to my destination. Most days, I am forced to make a four-time circle around a two-block radius before finding a decent parking space. Fortunately, on yesterday, I found a parking space on the second trip around the two-block radius.
To occupy this parking space, I made a U-turn in the middle of the street, backed in and out of the space at least 3 times, and squeezed in between two horribly, parked vehicles. To my left was the horribly parked, forest green minivan and to my left was an equally as horrendously parked, over- the- line, forest, green Toyota Camry. (For some reason, I can’t remember the make and model of the minivan. I just remember the color and its’ awful parking situation.) The parking task took me at least 5 minutes. But by the grace of God, I made it. (Isn’t it funny how we insert the grace of God into the most random situations??? Chic-fil-a’s drive thru line isn’t wrapped around the building…..look at the grace of God….Gas prices went down…look at the grace of God….Finding an extra $5 in your wallet….look at the grace of God….LOL…I could go on for days. I’m always deviating. SMH…back to the story)
As I prepared to open my car door, I realized that there was only about a foot and a half of distance in between my car and the horribly parked, over- the- line, forest green Toyota Camry. Yet, in still, I carefully opened my car door, “squoze” myself out of the driver’s seat, and managed to get out of my car without touching the Camry. I pressed the lock button on my keychain and quickly walked towards my destination.
I glanced back at my car and the minimal space separating it from the other two cars.
I mumbled, “They betta’ not scratch or hit my car!”
I was taking a chance leaving my car in between two, horribly parked, forest green vehicles. But I was in a hurry. I fumbled through my purse to check the time on my phone. In order to stay on schedule, I literally had seven minutes to complete this errand.
I continued to walk about ten steps. Then, He speaks.
The Holy Spirit said to me, “Go back and move your car.”
I stopped and I looked at the time on my phone. If I went back to move my car, it would take me at least another 10 minutes to circle around the two-block radius to find another space. That would put me behind schedule. There was no time for that.
“I’m not moving my car,” I thought to myself.
I kept walking and whispered a prayer, “Lord protect my car from these horrible drivers!”
I reached to open the door of the business and the Holy Spirit said once again, “Go back and move your car.”
He inquired further, “Why would you risk the damage of your investment when all you have to do is go back and move your car.”
I thought, “Here He goes againnn!!! All that deep stuff. I just want to do simple things like park my car, go inside this business, and go back to work. Now, He’s over here talking about risking damage to my investment… come on Lorddddddddddd what do you want from my life today??”
Aloud and likened to a spoiled brat, I complained, “Goshhh!!!”
I closed the business’ door.
I pulled my keys out of my purse. I turned back around and headed in the direction of my car. I shimmied and shifted into between the foot and a half of space between my car and the Camry. I carefully opened my car door, “squoze” into the driver’s seat, placed my car in reverse, and pulled out of the parking space. And, guest what???? By the Grace of God, I found another parking space closer to the entrance without horribly parked forest green vehicles on either side!!!!!!!!!!!! And I didn’t have to circle the two-block radius!! Won’t He do it!!!
Although I was off schedule, I successfully completed my errand and got into my car. I did not have to squeeze to fit into my car. Neither did I have to expose “Marlouisha” as a result of my car being damaged. (“Marlouisha” is my Liberty City/Opa Locka raised, Elouise 2.0, non-surburban, no time for foolishness, still working on my salvation, Jesus is on the mainline and you need to call Him, alter ego. I try to keep her tucked away. But every now and then, somebody tries it….and she MUST come out.)
On the drive back to work, those words played repeatedly in my head.
“Why would you risk the damage of your investment when all you have to do is go back and move your car?”
Again. “Why would you risk the damage of your investment when all you have to do is go back and move your car?”
And again”Why would you risk the damage of your investment when all you have to do is go back and move your car?”
Initially, I pondered the natural component to this statement. I was willing to leave the security of my car in the hands of someone who:
1) apparently could not park
2) did not following the rules of parking (i.e…stay in between the lines, ensure there’s enough space on each side, etc.)
3) would most likely scratch my car while opening their car door due to the lack of space
4) had no reason (outside of the golden rule) to care about me or my car
5) had not contributed one dime to my car payment, maintenance, or insurance
I thought about my carelessness regarding something that we’ve worked extremely hard for, need, and value. Despite the sacrifices we’ve made to maintain my car, I was casually willing to leave it positioned for damage. And, if I would have returned to a damaged car, I would have the nerve to be upset.
Then, I thought about the spiritual, physical, and emotional component of the Holy Spirit’s inquiry?
How many times have I “squoze” myself, my heart, or my dreams into positions that obviously were detrimental to my wellbeing?
How often have I dismissed the suggestions or corrections of those who have my best interest at heart?
How many times have I viewed their voices or reason as an inconvenience to my personal schedule?
How often have I received direction from the Lord and instead of obeying, whispered a prayer over it?
How many times have I allowed convenience, false loyalty, misconstrued hope, laziness, or just plain disobedience talk me out of making decisions that were for my good?
How often have I heard God’s instructions or saw warning signs, yet proceeded to keep walking?
How many times have I known about the strong possibility of disappointment or damage that awaited me, but continued to move forward with my own agenda?
How often have I risked damaged to my physical, emotional and spiritual investments because I wasn’t willing to turn back around and make the adjustments that would ultimately protect me?
How many times have I left the fate of my investments (my life, time, emotions, gifts, etc.) into the hands of someone who had no stake in my welfare or advancement?
How often have I ignored the carelessness of people “parked” in my vicinity and proceeded to remain in their space?
Deep.…So Deep…and all I wanted to do was park my car, run my errand, and get back to work!
Forgive me Lord for my casual attitude concerning the investment of my life and the things you have blessed me with. Help me to be reminded that You know all, and You see all. May I be aware of your voice and be obedient to Your instructions. Not just in the big things, but even more in the small moments in life. You are not concerned with my agenda, self- imposed seasons, or my need for control. But You are consumed by Your love for me!! My safety and fruitfulness are of great importance to you! NO ONE has my back like you do! Thank you!!!
In Jesus’ Name,
Photo Credit: Xaviar Gray