I’m not at my best in crowds. On top of that, I loathe jam-packed parking lots, but it’s hard to avoid them in this fast growing world. Bloated parking lots and scads of people are a lot like the old adage, “Where there’s smoke there’s fire.” If one is there, the other is a given.
When the opportunity presents itself, I try to outsmart the occasion. But that takes teamwork to strive and save in order to get more of the precious commodity we all took for granted at some point in our life; time.
I grimaced at the thought of braving the crowds of people on a Sunday afternoon at Costco; the mega wholesale warehouse. You have to be a member to get past the Gestapo and the line forms outside while everyone flashes their identification cards to get in… I don’t have one… but they let me tag along with my wife or daughters that do.
It’s the perfect store to buy in bulk. And I mean the kind of bulk that could fulfill many basic needs for a season, some for a lifetime. If a person ate that much peanut butter in one season, it would likely be their last.
“We’re never gonna find a parking space,” I groaned to my wife who’d pulled the classic bait and switch on me. I thought our destinations were only going to be Home Depot and Sprouts… til she added the human sardine store and parking lot to our agenda. Then again, it was my idea to have steak.
“Just pull up and drop me off and you can drive around then pick me back up,” my wife gave me a pass in our trip to parking lot perdition.
“Okay,” I agreed greedily and drove off thinking to myself, “One outta two ain’t bad… that woman is good to me.”
I drove around the packed parking lot with zero pressure of having to find a space, whistling would have been apropos. I just softly sang along to a song on the radio. It felt good. I could see desperation in the eyes of the other driving sardines, but not mine… because I’m a pretty swell guy. Not to mention the fact that God likes me.
I wasn’t too surprised when a space was opening up as close to the front door as possible – without it being a handicapped space. I sat back in the seat with my signal on, feeling pretty smug and a bit above the other commoners, while I waited for the young girl in a BMW to pull out and clear my divinely appointed parking space.
I smiled, waved kindly, as she pulled out of the space and past me. Just as I was pulling into God’s space, a kid in a little red four banger cut me off moving at light speed, smiling, and almost skidded to a stop… in my space!
A good Christian may have driven on, chalking it up to the ways of the fallen world. A less than mature Christian may have shaken their head in disgust. The next down the ladder to levels in heaven may have called the smiling punk a “Jerk”.
Me? I pulled my car within inches behind the kid’s and was out of my car and at his rolled down window before he could say, “Finders keepers – losers weepers!'”
“Not happ-nin!!! I been sittin’ there with my signal on waiting!”
The punk’s clever smile was gone like the dinosaurs when the suddenly humble kid meekly asked, “Would you like me to move?”
“Yes!!! … Please!” The ‘please’ I added at about half the decibels of the ‘yes’.
I backed up and let him pull out as I pulled back into the space… not feeling nearly as favored by God and the blood still pumping in the veins of my neck and forehead.
I wonder how often we hoard the same grace extended to us from God Himself.
Math was never my strong suit… but I suspect I can’t count that high…