We don’t have parking problems here because there are so few cars, but I do remember what it was like when we used to have to deal with parking every day. Did you know that there were unwritten rules for parking lots? Actually they are more commandments than rules, and I have put them in written form in the order of their importance.
What follows are the Ten Commandments for Parking:
I. Thou shalt park as close to the entrance as thou canst.
II. Thou shalt ignore all signs and painted curbs that might force thee to walk additional distance.
III. As able-bodied drivers, thou shalt use illegal or other people’s handicapped stickers whenever possible.
IV. Thou shalt park all brand new cars astride the line, taking up two spaces to avoid dings and to allow others to rejoice at thy status.
V. Thou shalt ignore all directional arrows.
VI. Thou shalt never use lots marked “additional parking.”
VII. Thou, and thou alone, always hast the right of way, thus eliminating the need for caution or for looking when backing up.
VIII. Thou must not miss a potential space near the entrance, thus making driving at 2 mph or stopping for up to 30 minutes thy right and obligation.
IX. Thou shalt flee swiftly away from any damage thy might cause another vehicle lest thy insurance premiums go up.
X. Thou shalt think only of thyself and thy own convenience when parking.
Enter Jesus, stage right. The Bible records Jesus’ words to the effect that the second greatest commandment is that we are to love our neighbors as ourselves. So how can we be so inconsiderate in our quest for a parking space? Maybe we don’t consider ourselves to have neighbors in parking lots near other churches. Maybe we even follow the Ten Commandments of Parking in our own church parking lots. I don’t think it is a particularly good thing to ignore God’s commandments in deference to our own. I suppose the real culprit is time or rather the attempt to save some of it, yet this is lost when you spend more time looking for a closer space than it would take you to walk from the farthest spot in the lot. Hey folks! Guess who gave you that time in the first place? If you want to witness to your faith in God, park at the back of the lot and walk the second hundred yards. (Jesus commanded a “second mile.”) I have actually timed how long it takes a relatively slow walker to get from the back of the Walmart lot to the front door. It is less than three minutes – and that’s for a slow, overweight walker who needs a walking stick for support (me). Love yourself more – give yourself those three minutes to thank God for what you have. That little three-minute walk, loving your neighbors as yourselves, is a walk with Jesus.