Before the “lovely” Chicago weather changed and it became unsafe for human life to be outside for more than the length of a Bear’s timeout, I was having coffee while, reading outside a restaurant. As I read I noticed that a very sporty black Mustang with back rims and black windows roared up and parked in the parking spot upfront. Out popped a woman who clearly had the coffee order in her hand for her and the driver. She ran in for what was clearly an in-and-out stop before they continued on their way.
Out of the corner of my eye I then noticed a couple in their 80’s making their way towards the restaurant too. The wife had a little quicker gate so she made it to the door first, but her husband needed some time and I would say after nearly 5 minutes he made it to her. I then overhead her say that “I can’t believe this guy parked in the handicap parking spot!” to her out of breath husband.
They were right, the hare had taken the parking spot from the tortoise, but in this case the tortoise was handicapped, aged, and would never win a foot race again. However, what blew me away was what happened next.
The gentleman in the Mustang leans his head out and starts swearing and yelling at the elderly couple as if it was their fault! I couldn’t believe it. The old woman couldn’t either and, rightfully so, she called the man a “selfish jerk” as she held the door for her husband to gingerly shuffle through. The other woman came out about that time and got back in the Mustang, drinks in hand, and the black shadowy car sped off. Instead of admitting he was a tool, apologizing, moving his car, and maybe buying the couple’s coffee, Mustang-Man decided to stand his ground and yell at the people he offended.
Now before we start driving around the south suburbs looking for this mysterious black Mustang to let the air our of his tires, we need to realize in a lot of cases we are just like him. Just as he justified his position for parking in the handicap spot, so do we justify things we do in our life. In an effort to make ourselves not look foolish, ignorant, or wrong we will try to ice over our offense with all kinds of sugary excuses. Here are few examples:
- It’s the husband that cheats on his wife then blames her for it because she was not “meeting his needs”.
- It’s the employee that fudges their expense report numbers because after all “they don’t pay me enough as it” is so they deserve it.
- It’s the gambling addict that has lost everything but blames his father because that is “all he ever knew.”
Proverbs 16:2 sums this craziness up well. It says “All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighted by the Lord.” That is exactly what all of us find when we try to sugar coat our sin instead of dealing with it and asking for forgiveness. When we think that our ways is better than God’s we are required to justify ourselves because, after all, we need to establish our “rightness” and “innocence” to our self to keep going forward. However, God knows the true motive of our heart and can see the damage being done by our sin and it grieves Him.
The proper way to handle these areas of sin in our life would be to follow the wisdom from Proverbs 16:6 where it says, “Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for; through the fear of the Lord a man avoids evil.” We find forgiveness and love through God by confessing our sins and not hiding them, and by having reverence for God and His plan we avoid future pitfalls. This is where we find peace in life and not in the rabbit trails of sin justification.
So watch where you park your life, and if you find yourself in the wrong spot don’t start yelling at God. Rather, sit down, buy Him a cup of coffee, and repent so you can begin to heal.