Occasionally, I do crazy things. (Okay, if you know me well, you know that can be seen as an understatement.) One of the crazy things I did, one year, was go shopping on Boxing Day.
Shopping on Boxing Day is, to me, a crazy thing to do – unless one has some specific purchase in mind, it’s otherwise an act whereby “you save a lot of money, spending money you don’t got” (in the words of the great theologian Stompin’ Tom Connors). But one year, when we lived within walking distance of a large Toronto mall, I walked over to check out the bargains.
When I was leaving – with little or nothing in hand, if memory serves me correctly – I was walking across the crowded parking lot toward the city sidewalk that would lead me home. I was amazed at the number of people who were ‘lurking’ for a parking space. I see this all the time, not just on Boxing Day: people will waste inordinate amounts of fuel and time waiting to get a parking space as close to the door of the mall as possible. This practice is environmentally irresponsible to say the least, and, if I may say so, kind of annoying. Unless folks need the handicapped spot and have the necessary paperwork to back it up, why can’t they enjoy the walk from a little further back in the lot? I often do this just for the exercise (not that it helps a lot).
These folks are among those who think they’ll “get lucky” and find a parking space. Of course, there are some people who will pray for a parking space, too. Two thoughts come to mind on that one.
First, there are those who pray for a parking space and then thank the Lord for its provision. Part of me really wonders whether God is not terribly interested in the provision of a parking space at the mall, and might otherwise classify it under our ‘free will’. (I’m going to explore this concept later in the summer.)
Then there are those who make promises to God about the parking space. You know the drill: “God, if you find me a parking space near the door, I’ll go to church every Sunday.” Moments later: “Never mind, God, I found one myself.”
The people who treat God and good luck in much the same way are missing out on a lot that being a follower of Jesus has to offer. When we treat God like a lucky rabbit’s foot, that we rub in our pocket when we want some sort of wish, we trivialize God and treat him as an impersonal force instead of a personal God who relates to people he created. The Apostle Paul understood this when he wrote to the church in Philippi, “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4.19, NIV).
God loves to meet our needs, because he loves us first and foremost. Given that reality, why put your trust in luck? It isn’t going to dry your tears when you mourn. Luck won’t comfort you when you’re troubled. Frankly, it won’t even get you a parking space.
Luck? That’s just a myth. Trust in God.