On the 24th of March, it was pouring rain. The cars gathered in the parking lots of nearby malls and shopping centres were all clustered around the entrances. The intent was clear: Their drivers wanted to spend as little time as possible in the pouring rain! There was one car, however, a yellow Lamborghini, that was parked way out in the parking lot, far from any of the other parked cars. The intent of its driver was also clear: To avoid dents at all costs!
We don’t always get what we want, however. There was, ironically, a sole shopping cart within three feet (one metre) of that lone car, and had it not been for this passionate shopper, who, rain or no rain, was desperately looking for a shopping cart, the driver would have returned to more damage than a simple car door would have inflicted.
In the next parking lot, we all noticed a brand-new, oversized truck, parked right in the middle of two parking spots. It, too, was trying to avoid dents from nearby vehicles. Luckily for its driver, there were no shopping carts in sight, but in time, that could have happened as well. The point is this: Even though we may take every possible precautionary measure to avoid the dent and scratch hazards of a parking lot, our efforts are doomed to fail.
A pastor friend of mine can vouch for that. A few years back he made his son, who was just learning to drive at the time, park their vehicle as far as possible from the entrance to Walmart. He figured it would give him extra exercise, and more importantly, it would avoid dents from those erring shopping carts! As he exited Walmart, however, he couldn’t help but notice a lone shopping cart careening its way across the parking lot. Empowered by the wind, there was only one thing to stop that cart’s accelerating journey: My friend’s car! And stop it did, leaving behind a “beautiful” scratch on his pristine car! Grrrr!
It may be that our expectations are a bit off. Perhaps it is better to expect dents and find none than to expect that you have avoided them. For sooner or later, they, too, will appear!
The apostle Paul was not worried about dents in his car. To be honest, he didn’t even have a car, which is incidentally the best solution for completely avoiding dents! Instead he urges us to “Avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless.” (Titus 3:9 NIV)
I too believe in avoiding these poison-filled controversies at all costs. I’d rather pray for my opponent as well as myself, as all of us still need to learn to draw closer to God. He is our guide in all things! Controversies will not draw people closer to our Heavenly Father, instead it will bring distance between our Maker and ourselves, as anything not done in love is not from God.
Dents are really nothing. The other day someone used a crowbar to try to enter the car my son had parked at a local shopping centre. Well, at least we can now tell this car from others that are similar in style and color! Not bad, is it?
Euh . . . Where did I park my car?